Jose Mourinho and Tanguy Ndombele Are Not At War

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Tanguy Ndombele has been a victim of too many competitors within the ranks of Tottenham Hotspur in the last two games the club has played since the Premier League restarted on June 17. The consistency in being left out of the plans of Jose Mourinho, the manager of the club, has sparked speculations that the manager was having a feud with the midfielder.

This speculation was more pronounced in Tottenham‘s game against Manchester United where the club was without their star midfielder, Dele Alli, who was banned for a game. Despite that, Jose Mourinho didn’t deem it appropriate to start the club’s record signing in the match nor use him as a sub.

Since Tanguy Ndombele joined the club in the summer of 2019 for a whopping £63 million transfer fee, he had given a fair account of himself. In the 19 games he was given the chance to play as a midfielder, the 23-year-old French international has scored 2 goals and has made two assists. Yet, it seems he is no longer among the top three midfielders in Jose Mourinho’s pecking order since the season restarted.

That fact also manifested when Tottenham Hotspur played against West Ham United on Tuesday. Mourinho failed to use the Frenchman despite ending the match with two unused substitutions out of 5.

Jose Mourinho and Tanguy Ndombele
Jose Mourinho and Tanguy Ndombele

In a press conference after the match which ended 2-0 in favour of Tottenham, the Portuguese tactician stressed that it is impossible to please all the players at Tottenham. He also stressed that though he now has 5 substitutions to make in one match, it is not compulsory to use the 5 subs if the need does not arise.

Mourinho said: “No. There is nothing (between Mourinho and Tanguy Ndombele). I try to do the best for my team. I can’t start with 12 or 13 players, sometimes I apologise to the ones I cannot pick.

“On the bench was Tanguy, (Ryan) Sessegnon, Toby (Alderweireld), (Jan) Vertonghen, Gedson (Fernandes) and they didn’t play. That’s football. I had attacking players on the bench, (Erik) Lamela and (Steven) Bergwijn. Two great players to bring on and then (Harry) Winks to give us more consistency.

“This situation of the five changes, some people may be thinking that you have to use all five changes. You don’t have to do it. You have the chances to do it.

“I felt that the team was fine. I never believed that 2-0 was a completely safe result because they were trying everything and one goal could change the state of mind and give them the motivation in the final minutes so I decided to keep the team stable and three changes were enough.”