Tottenham Hotspur’s manager, Jose Mourinho, threw what looks like a jab at Dele Alli on Friday when he was acknowledging that Tanguy Ndombele is moving in the right direction for not being frustrated with the limited game time he has been having at the club.
The Portuguese tactician who stated this during a pre-match press conference noted that he doesn’t like players who moan and don’t appreciate the time they are given to play. He stressed that he doesn’t give game time to players for free no matter how expensive such a player is or how important the player has been for the club.
Dele Alli‘s consistent absence in Mourinho’s starting eleven and his lack of regular playing time have sparked speculation that he and the coach are having a dispute. However, Mourinho has always insisted that Dele is suffering from the fact that there are many players at Tottenham and always urged him to work harder.
The coach was not happy with the way Dele reacted after he was substituted in Tottenham’s Premier League match against Everton which they loss 1-0. While speaking in a press conference ahead of the club’s Europa League qualification match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Mourinho described Dele’s reaction after his substitution as being “quiet” and “sad”.
Mourinho said: “Dele was quiet, he was sad. After the game, he was just one of many. He’s a good boy, very, very polite and I never saw from him a strong reaction. A good boy, a really good boy.”
The attitude Dele has been showing since he fell out of Jose Mourinho‘s pegging order is quite different from the attitude Tanguy Ndombele has been showing despite suffering the same fate, according to Mourinho’s choice of words during Tottenham vs Newcastle pre-match press conference on Friday.
Ndombele is Tottenham’s most expensive signing; he joined the club from Lyon for a transfer fee worth £54 million. Despite how much Tottenham paid to have him at the club, that has never stopped Mourinho from benching him or giving him limited playing time.
Still, Mourinho believes that Ndombele has never looked frustrated but has continued to work hard in order to earn his position in Tottenham’s squad.
“Yes, that’s what I want,” Mourinho said. “I don’t want players to moan, I don’t want players to feel frustrated, I don’t want players to feel that I have something against them when I don’t pick them.
“I want players to fight for the minutes that they want to be on the pitch and when you play for Tottenham, you have to understand that Tottenham wants to be better and better and the rewards are going to be better and better and the players cannot have a comfortable position on the pitch.
“They have to be ready to fight for the minutes they want to be on the pitch.”
Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Newcastle to Tottenham Stadium on Sunday for their third Premier League match of the season. So far, they have lost one against Everton and won one against Southampton.