Tag Archives: Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has already delivered verdict on Chelsea’s potential new partnership

Jose Mourinho has already delivered verdict on Chelsea's potential new partnership

Chelsea are reportedly keen on hijacking Manchester United’s move for Raphael Varane this summer and that could lead them into using a new defensive pairing next season. The Real Madrid defender is considering quitting the Bernabeu as he has just one year left on his contract.

Varane is apparently demanding an increase on his £170,000-a-week wages but Real are in financial trouble and want to cut costs.

Sergio Ramos has already departed for Paris Saint-Germain and Varane could be the next out of the exit door.

United are holding talks with the La Liga giants over a blockbuster summer switch but reports in Spain suggest Chelsea are also keeping close tabs on the situation.

Thiago Silva, 36, is unlikely to feature in every Premier League match as he comes towards the tail end of his career.

So Thomas Tuchel may trust a younger Kurt Zouma to play alongside his fellow Frenchman Varane.

Six years ago Mourinho predicted that Zouma and Varane would be a powerful partnership after he managed both of the youngster at club level.

“I think the French Federation should write me a letter to thank me because I think they have now the best two young central defenders in the world,” Mourinho said during his second stint in charge of Chelsea in 2015.

“I’m not saying the best because there are young, there are obviously end products, mature players 24, 25, 28, 30-year’s-old.

“But as young defenders can you imagine what Varane and Zouma can represent in football in a couple of years.

“I think Didier [Deschamps] must be very happy with that.”

Meanwhile, former Liverpool ace Steve Nicol has concerns over whether Varane can still cut it in the Premier League.

“I think the worrying thing is that Varane’s coming off a season where he made a lot of high-profile mistakes,” he said.

“You wonder whether: is last season an indicator he’s beginning to drop a little bit? That would be my worry.

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“It’s going to be a lot of money. It might be spending a lot of money who, actually for his age is pretty early going the other way.”

Chelsea also have Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen among their ranks so it is likely there would be departures if Varane arrived at Stamford Bridge.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

Jose Mourinho backtracks on Luke Shaw comments after Man Utd star’s Euro 2020 final goal

Jose Mourinho backtracks on Luke Shaw comments after Man Utd star's Euro 2020 final goal

“Maybe I was too harsh with him and he was not ready for that.

“From my side, I can only say congratulations to him because he did it by himself. For sure with the help and support of his coaches in the club and in the national team.”

Shaw generally struggled under Mourinho when the pair were at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2018, with the Portuguese often taking his criticism of the player public.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has grown into a crucial part of United’s side both in attack and defence, developing a scintillating relationship with Marcus Rashford on the left.

England boss Gareth Southgate must do two things before Italy match – Jose Mourinho

England boss Gareth Southgate must do two things before Italy match - Jose Mourinho

“It was a big decision for England to stick with Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice — a very strong statement which said, ‘We are not here to entertain, we are not here to be an amazing football team’.

“It’s a big lesson for some people who think the most important thing in football is to be beautiful. In the end, we realise what this country wants most is to win the Euros.

“If everyone was expecting Rice to start, it was not even 100 per cent sure that Phillips would be in the squad. But he has become fundamental to England.

“Then, Jordan Henderson shows what a captain is. A captain of Liverpool, he does not need an armband to be a captain for England. He’s there to come on when the team needs fresh legs and stability.

“It’s not easy to stop Italy playing but it’s easier to stop them creating, by being compact, having a lower defensive block.

“What is difficult is to control possession. If Jorginho is playing for Chelsea and your No 10 presses him, it’s difficult for them.

Mourinho and Wenger join criticism of England’s Euro 2020 decision – ‘Never a penalty!’

Mourinho and Wenger join criticism of England’s Euro 2020 decision – ‘Never a penalty!’

Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger have joined the chorus of criticism about the decision that saw England beat Denmark in extra-time on Wednesday evening.

Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have been fouled in the box, but Mourinho said it was “never a penalty”.

Harry Kane saw his resulting penalty saved by Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, only to tuck home the rebound to give England a 2-1 lead that ultimately proved enough to send them into the Euro 2020 final.

The result was just-reward for an excellent performance by Gareth Southgate’s side. But Mourinho says the decision itself was very soft.

“England were fantastic but, for me, it was never a penalty,” the former Spurs manager told TalkSport.

“At this level, the semi-final of the Euros, I don’t understand the referee’s decision and even less why the Var did not bring the referee to the screen.

“I’m very happy that England won. As a football man, I am disappointed that a penalty was given.”

READ MORE: England escape heartbreak as Kane’s penalty ‘shouldn’t have stood’

And Mourinho’s old Premier League rival Arsene Wenger is in total agreement that the officials made the wrong decision.

“In a moment like that I don’t understand why they don’t ask the referee to have a look at that and to have a clear view,” he said.

“It’s important that the referee must be absolutely convinced it was a penalty and I don’t understand why the Var did not ask him to look at it.”

The video assistant referee did look at the decision, but deemed it not a serious enough error for the on-pitch referee to reassess the penalty call.

Peter Schmeichel, the father of the beaten Denmark goalkeeper Kasper, also revealed that he has been inundated with angry comments about the decision from fellow Danes.

“Everyone says that it is not a penalty,” Schmeichel said. “This will be debated for a very long time.

“It’s a hard one to take. It’s not a penalty. I would have been much more relaxed and accepting if they scored one of the many chances they created.

“Unfortunately the referee made a big mistake. Anyway, we are very proud of the Danish team – we leave the tournament with honour.”

England will face Italy in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday evening, with kick-off at 8pm at Wembley Stadium.

Kane is just one goal off the top-scoring charts for the tournament, having won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.

Italy beat Spain on penalties to reach Sunday’s showpiece final, with Roberto Mancini’s side heralded by many as the most impressive side at the tournament so far.

The visit to the final is England’s first at a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

Author: Tom Bennett
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Sport

England's Luke Shaw hits back at Jose Mourinho criticism ahead of Germany clash

England's Luke Shaw hits back at Jose Mourinho criticism ahead of Germany clash

So, on the anniversary of his £30m signing for Manchester United, he was able to laugh off the fact that Jose Mourinho still seems on a one-man mission to destroy him. Three years ago, Shaw revealed on England duty that a horror tackle in 2015 nearly caused him to lose his right leg.

His chance to win over the Old Trafford fans had barely got started, and by the time he was in contention for a first team place again, Jose Mourinho had taken over the reins.

To this day, Shaw still does not know why he seemed immediately to take against him.

However, two-and-a-half years after Mourinho was sacked due to poor results, the 25-year-old just wishes that the sniping would stop now that he himself is excelling at a major tournament about to go into the biggest match of his life.

“I don’t really understand it, to be honest,” he said. 


England insider explains unusual training methods ahead of Germany tie

“I don’t know why he is still going on and wanting to point at me.

“I don’t feel like the set pieces were as bad as he was saying. 

“I might have done one in the second half, a corner, that didn’t get over the first man. 

“But that was one out of three. The other two or three, I don’t think, were as ‘dramatically bad’ as he says.

“Look, he has got to do his job. He has got his opinion.

“I am used to him saying negative stuff about me now, so I just pass it by. 

“I leave it be, I ignore it. I just focus on what the coaching staff say here – what Gareth says – and that’s that, really.”

Southgate tried twice to bring Shaw back into the England fold while he was trying to find his way back into regular first-team football under Mourinho.

But his call-up in March came after two-and-a-half years in the international wilderness.

“Do I laugh it off now? Yeah, because I don’t think any of you realise the two or three years I had with him and how bad it was then, what it was like then,” Shaw said.

“What he says now is nothing compared to how it used to be. 

“I am being totally honest. I am so past it now. 

“I have grown up a lot. The three years I had with him, I learnt a lot.

“I find it easy to ignore him now and even laugh about it. 

“But it’s better just to ignore it (and) move on with my life.”

So while Mourinho sits watching on the box if the aftermath of his disastrous tenure at Spurs, Shaw is waiting to do the whole nation a favour.

“Beating Germany would feel unbelievable,” he said. 

“Not just for us as players, but for the whole nation to see – that would be brilliant.

“Of course what’s happened in the past is the past, but us as players, as a whole team, want to create our own story.

“What a perfect way to start that by hopefully beating Germany and setting a tone for the rest of the tournament.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Jose Mourinho appointed Roma manager after Tottenham sacking in surprise return

Jose Mourinho appointed Roma manager after Tottenham sacking in surprise return
Serie A giants AS Roma have confirmed the shock appointment of Jose Mourinho just over two weeks after his abrupt departure from Tottenham Hotspur. The Italian club has issued a statement unveiling the Portuguese manager as their new boss just three hours after announcing that Paulo Fonseca will be leaving his position as manager at the end of the season.
Roma said on Twitter: “OFFICIAL: The club are delighted to announce an agreement has been reached with Jose Mourinho for him to become our new head coach ahead of the 2021-22 season.”

Mourinho has wasted no time in moving onto his next venture, although he will be given some time to rest and prepare for his return to Italy this summer.

He has now revealed in a statement on his Instagram that the club’s vision and passionate supporters helped convince him to take the job…

“I thank the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and for making me part of their vision,” he said.

“After comparing myself with the property and with Tiago Pinto I immediately understood how high the ambition of this society is.

“This aspiration and this drive are the same ones that have always motivated me and together we want to build a winning path for years to come.

“The incredible passion of Roma’s fans has convince me to take the job and I can’t wait to start next season.

“At the same time, I wis Paulo Fonseca all the best and I ask the media to understand that I will only release statements in due time. Go Rome!”

The 58-year-old is set to keep busy with contributions for talkSPORT and The Sun before his embarks on his new venture.

His previous spell in Italy with Inter Milan was one of the most successful spells of his career. He guided the club to the Serie A title in his first season before Inter won a historic treble a year later in 2010.

Tottenham wished Mourinho well upon sacking him last month, with Daniel Levy saying: “Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club.

“Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic.

“On a personal level, I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged.

“He will always be welcome here and we should like to thank him and his coaching staff for their contribution.”

Roma were on course to secure a top-four finish in Serie A this season under Fonseca but the side has lost its way in recent weeks.

Manchester United dished out a 6-2 thrashing to the Italians last Thursday in the Europa League semi-final first leg.

The club has now decided to part company with Fonseca after sounding out the availability of Mourinho following the 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria.

“Over these last two years we have experienced a number of highs and lows, but I have always given my all for this club and this city – a city that has always been so welcoming,” Fonseca said.

“I would like to thank the Roma fans, everyone we have worked with at Trigoria, the players, and all those who have helped us during this journey – in particular Dan and Ryan Friedkin, for their continuous support since they arrived, and Tiago Pinto, an incredible professional, whom I wish the best as he continues his work for the club.

“We still have some very important games in front of us this season that we want to win, and we will continue to give our all in order to do so.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Four managers who have snubbed Tottenham and six candidates to replace Mourinho

Another day, another candidate out of the running. For Tottenham chief Daniel Levy, the search for a successor to Jose Mourinho is proving difficult to conclude.

The Portuguese was brutally axed on April 19, just six days before he was due to take charge of his side for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

Ryan Mason was drafted in as interim head coach until the end of the season and took his place in the dugout at Wembley. But their 13-year wait for a trophy goes on after their 1-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side.

Levy is believed to be targeting an attack-minded manager to replace Mourinho, whose defensive style of play and critical man-management style proved unpopular during his 18-month reign at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

But the list of candidates is dwindling as other European clubs prepare to make changes of their own this summer, although Levy is refusing to rush into a decision over his next appointment.

So, who remains on the list of candidates to take the hotseat?

Managers who have snubbed Spurs

Julian Nagelsmann

The German emerged as an exciting candidate for Spurs as it was reported he was keen on a move to the Premier League.

However, it quickly transpired that once Hansi Flick confirmed his exit from Bayern Munich, the RB Leizpig coach would be their first choice to take the reins at the Allianz Arena.

Brendan Rodgers

Rodgers has publicly committed his future to Leicester and that is perfectly understandable given the comfort the Northern Irishman has in the dugout at the King Power.

He remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the vacant post, but if he guides the Foxes to Champions League football next season, it would be a shock to see him leave them behind.

Erik Ten Hag

The Dutchman appeared to be the leading man for the job after Tottenham made contact with the Ajax boss over replacing Mourinho.

Ten Hag was the man at the helm of the Dutch side when they reached the Champions League semi-finals, before Lucas Moura’s hat-trick completed a famous comeback in Amsterdam.

He is a promising coach who Levy was keen on snapping up. But on Friday, the former Bayern Munich assistant spurned their interest to sign a one-year extension to his deal with the Eredivisie giants.

Nuno Espirito Santo

Super agent Jorge Mendes has been doing his utmost to put his client in the frame for the job after a disappointing season with Wolves.

In addition to this, Nuno said to be keen on managing a club competing for European football after taking the West Midlands outfit to the Europa League last season.

Despite this, the 47-year-old reaffirmed his commitment to the club only last week, suggesting he may be off-limits for now.

Potential candidates for the job

Maurizio Sarri

At this stage, the Italian seems the most likely choice.

Sarri has pedigree coaching at the highest level with Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus with a patient, possession-based game the sole pillar of his management.

He is also a free agent, although Roma are reportedly interested too. Notably, he won the Serie A with the Bianconeri and the Europa League with Chelsea and just might be the man to finally end Tottenham’s trophy hoodoo.

Massimiliano Allegri

A manager with a proven track record of winning is precisely what every Tottenham fan wants. The only question is: does Allegri fancy risking it all for a spell at Spurs?

What’s more, his tendency to favour results over performance is far removed from an attacking philosophy.

And according to reports in Italy, the five-time Serie A winner is in the running to return to Juventus, with Andrea Pirlo is facing the sack.

Rafa Benitez

Having managed three other Premier League clubs in Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle, there are few foreign coaches who know the English game better.

The Spaniard is a tactical mastermind and has enjoyed success almost everywhere he has been, although questions remain over whether his ideals match Levy’s demands for attacking football.

Scott Parker

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A previous Spurs captain who understands the club from top to bottom, Parker would resemble a sensible choice after building a promising project at Fulham — and there is no doubt he would jump at the chance to lead his former club.

But the absence on his CV of coaching a side in Europe could prevent him getting the job.

Ryan Mason

The interim manager turning permanent manager? We have seen this one before. It really depends on how he copes with the pressure.

So far, he has said all the right things, but he is still raw as a coach, and getting the best out of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son may prove a difficult challenge.

At 29, it feels like this role may be out of Mason’s reach, barring a magnificent finish to the season.

Eddie Howe

Fits the brand of football required by Levy but doubts remain over whether he can he handle a big-time job.

Even when guiding Bournemouth to an impressive 9th in 2016-17, none of the top clubs were prepared to take a punt on the 43-year-old.

Now his stock has fallen, Howe may be viewed as a gamble — something Levy can ill afford.

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Author: [email protected] (Joe Krishnan)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Levy's claim in All or Nothing provides telling insight on Mourinho treatment

Author [email protected] (Samuel Meade)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Tottenham chief Daniel Levy took the decision to sack Jose Mourinho this week following the club’s poor form.

The north London outfit are having an eventful week as they also deal with the fallout of the failed European Super League plans.

On the pitch, their recent results have them in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the second successive season.

Levy, therefore, took the decision to axe the Special One after just 17 months in charge.

The Tottenham chairman was a regular in the club’s All or Nothing documentary which aired on Amazon Prime last year.

He gave a personal assessment of himself with his choice of words appearing very appropriate.

He said: “I think the perception of me is that I’m hard-nosed, stubborn, don’t care, not ambitious. I think a lot of that isn’t fair.

Daniel Levy took the decision to axe Jose Mourinho on Monday
Daniel Levy took the decision to axe Jose Mourinho on Monday

“I certainly think I’m incredibly ambitious to improve the team, people just don’t understand how hard it is to get to that place.

“I’ve run lots of businesses – running a football club is the hardest business I’ve ever run.”

Levy will argue that his decision to sack Mourinho is proof of his ambitions – anything less than the Champions League is not good enough.

He said in a statement that “I have enjoyed working with him and regret that things have not worked out as we both had envisaged”.

Levy’s perception of being stubborn and hard-nosed perhaps came full circle with his decision to sack Mourinho, despite him guiding Tottenham to the Carabao Cup Final, which will be played on Sunday.

Tottenham and Mourinho's relationship didn't last despite a bright start
Tottenham and Mourinho’s relationship didn’t last despite a bright start

The Special One left Tottenham with a win percentage of just over 51 – his lowest in his last seven managerial jobs.

Things were looking bright before Christmas with the north Londoners sitting top of the league following an impressive start.

The players seemed to have bought into his style of football, but things quickly unravelled as Tottenham won three out of 13.

Levy’s perceived lack of ambition also stems from the club’s activity in the transfer market

His decision to involve the club in the European Super League was no doubt motivated by money with it well documented that their £1bn stadium is yet to have a naming sponsor.

All six English sides pulled out amid huge fan protests, but tellingly Levy is yet to apologise.

Tottenham next manager: Who should Daniel Levy hire to replace Jose Mourinho? Big Debate

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Tottenham next manager: Who should Daniel Levy hire to replace Jose Mourinho? Big Debate
The post-Jose Mourinho Tottenham era started off positively on Wednesday night as interim head coach Ryan Mason oversaw a 2-1 league win over Southampton to inject some extra confidence into the players for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. Mason, just 29 years old, spoke of his pride of standing in the Spurs dugout and may hope between now and May 23 to prove he can be an option for the position full time. In our latest Big Debate, the Express Sport team sit down to look at who they think chairman Daniel Levy should be eyeing as his next permanent appointment at the end of the season, with Julian Nagelsmann and Brendan Rodgers among the many candidates in the frame.

Ryan Taylor

It’s easy to see why Spurs want Julian Nagelsmann but that seems unrealistic given that he’s Bayern Munich’s top target to replace Hansi Flick.

Outside of that, I think Nuno Espirito Santo would be the perfect fit. There’s a sense he’s taken Wolves as far as he can and ultimately, his journey at Molineux warrants reward.

Nuno has a clear identity and idea, has a track record developing players, a winning mentality and has formed special relationships with the Wolves fans and his squad. He ticks pretty much every box.

Not only that but his relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes is also an added bonus. It’s the kind of network that would really benefit Tottenham, particularly at this moment in time where there could be wholesale changes at the club.

Brendan Rodgers is of course also a strong option but I don’t think he’s a realistic candidate. He has total control at Leicester and they are a club on the up.

Charlie Malam

The way things soured for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham should be a surprise to… well, no-one. The mood towards the end was low in the dressing room and on the training ground, just as it was in the final days at Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United. It looked likely for some time that he was going to be axed.

With former academy graduate Mason tasked with restoring some positivity between now and the end of the season, Julian Nagelsmann might just be the perfect man to come in and help restore Spurs as top-four, and then title, challengers again – though the timeline of how quick that happens will depend on what happens with Harry Kane’s future.

Nagelsmann’s only 33 but has a wealth of experience having taken Hoffenheim to finishes of fourth, third and ninth before joining RB Leipzig in the summer of 2019. He led Leipzig to the Champions League semi-finals last term, though lost in the last 16 this year to Liverpool, and has made the Red Bull-owned club the closest Bundesliga challengers to Bayern Munich in the current campaign after coming third in his debut season.

Whereas Mourinho represents the old era, the fresh-faced and innovative German is the new age. Nagelsmann is renowned across the continent for his tactical expertise, scrupulous attention to detail and also his man management. His high-pressing approach is much more akin to Mauricio Pochettino’s ideas than the dull defence-first thinking of Mourinho.

While the door may be open for a tempting summer move to Bayern with Hansi Flick wanting out, Spurs still have plenty they can offer to Nagelsmann – who has precedent for turning down the biggest jobs before having rejected Real Madrid in 2018 to “develop” in his career and take a “logical” next step.

Spurs may not be on a level with Leipzig right now given they likely won’t have Champions League football next year, Nagelsmann could view the north Londoners as the sensible next stepping stone in his journey, given the test of managing in the Premier League and the test of rebuilding the Spurs side.

Spurs showed even under Mourinho that the ingredients are there for an exciting and progressive team, and Nagelsmann would be the ideal man to oversee that development. And appointing such an exciting attack-minded young coach could even more vitally help get Kane – considering an exit this summer in pursuit of major silverware – back on board.

Simon Head

As one of the “Breakaway Six” that attempted to start a European Super League, Tottenham could really do with a bit of positive PR, and the appointment of the right manager would be just the ticket for Daniel Levy and co. at the top of the club.

Archie Griggs

Julian Nagelsmann should be Tottenham’s first-choice candidate but it remains to be seen whether RB Leipzig would entertain the idea of letting him go.

He is under contract until the summer of 2023 and has previously underlined his commitment to seeing out the entirety of his deal with the Bundesliga hopefuls.

If Daniel Levy is prepared to part ways with a significant amount of money, the 33-year-old, who has proven himself as one of Europe’s best young managers, could be the man to lead Spurs to the next level.

However, in the event that Leipzig refuse to budge, the north London club could do worse than to appoint temporary boss Ryan Mason on a permanent basis.

Although it is still very early days, the players appear to be enthusiastic about the former midfielder’s willingness to implement an attacking-minded philosophy, and if he can save the club’s season by winning Sunday’s Carabao Cup final there is a chance that Levy could decide to offer him a chance to make a name for himself with the full-time job.

Matthew Dunn 

News that Tottenham have already made contact with Maurizio Sarri about the vacant manager’s job is no surprise.

He has a lot of what they though Jose Mourinho would bring them and has some qualities which will make him more palatable both in the boardroom and in the stands of the giant White Hart Lane arena.

For a start, Sarri-ball is more forward-thinking than Mourinho’s unpopular park-the-bus approach.

His honours list is not as impressive, but he has won things – the Europa League and Serie A.

And he will be much, much cheaper than the Special One.

Julian Nagelsmann is another name on the list, as is Brendan Rodgers. Levy needs an exciting and big enough name to persuade Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min to be patient at the club for just one year more.

All of which means that for Ryan Mason, it is all too much too early, however well he does.

Who are the options for Spurs?

Tottenham have been linked with a whole host of names since axing Mourinho, with the bookmakers’ current favourite Maurizio Sarri, the former Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli head coach.

The actual chances of the Italian rocking up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take over are unclear as it stands.

Nagelsmann is a popular candidate, though that depends on how much it would take to prise him from RB Leipzig – Bayern Munich are also a threat given they admire the German.

Brendan Rodgers of Leicester is widely admired at Spurs but the ex-Liverpool head coach is fully committed to his project with the Foxes.

Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Brighton’s Graham Potter are other options who fit the profile Spurs want, per Football.London.

Massimiliano Allegri, the out-of-work ex-Juve boss, is another potential contender though he is not quite the same mould of the aforementioned quartet.

Ryan Mason drops Gareth Bale Man City hint as Tottenham boss takes jab at Jose Mourinho

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Ryan Mason drops Gareth Bale Man City hint as Tottenham boss takes jab at Jose Mourinho

And with Mason unclear whether or not he will have star striker Kane to call upon at Wembley this weekend, the stand-in manager has indicated Bale will be in his starting line-up against City.

“Listen, Gareth’s an exceptional player, he’s had an exceptional career,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“Especially when you don’t have Harry in the team you need someone who can produce moments in the final third. That was the decision for Gareth today, and thankfully he’s repaid that, the effort he’s showed and the quality for the finish was absolutely outstanding.”

After Spurs were dumped out of the Europa League last month, Mourinho demanded “a completely different attitude” and it is thought his public criticism of his players was a huge reason behind his dismissal.

The Portuguese tactician even held four-hour talks with the Spurs squad after being axed as he told the team in honest fashion what he made of their recent performances.

Yet in spite of such comments from Mourinho, Mason declared that he was delighted with the character and mentality of the Spurs squad as they came from behind against Southampton – with many feeling the club’s recent woes owe more to the sacked manager than anything else.