Jose Mourinho made his thoughts very clear about midfielder Tanguy Ndombele following Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Burnley on Saturday.
Ndombele, who joined Spurs in a club record £53.8 million move from Lyon last summer, was replaced at half-time after an anonymous 45 minutes.
“In the first half we didn’t have a midfield,” Mourinho said, per BBC Sport.
“Of course I’m not speaking of [Oliver] Skipp because he’s a kid of 19 who’s played two hours in the last few days. I don’t criticise him at all.
“But I’m not going to run away and I have to say he [Ndombele] has had enough time to come to a different level.
“I know the Premier League is difficult, and some players take a long time to adapt to a different league.
“But a player with his potential has to give us more than he is giving us, especially when you see how Lucas, Lo Celso and those players are playing. I was expecting more in the first half from him.”
But Ndombele isn’t the first Mourinho player to have been thrown under the bus by the Portuguese coach.
Throughout his time as a manager, the 57-year-old has never been afraid of publicly criticising his players.
Joe Cole | Chelsea | October 2004
Mourinho: “When he scored the goal the game finished for him. After that I needed 11 players for my defensive organisation and I had just 10.”
Ricardo Carvalho | Chelsea | August 2005
Mourinho: “Ricardo Carvalho seems to have problems understanding things, maybe he should have an IQ test, or go to a mental hospital or something.”
Pepe | Real Madrid | May 2013
Mourinho: “Pepe has a problem. And his name is Raphael Varane.
“That’s the whole story. It isn’t easy for a man aged 31 with a lot of experience behind him to be blown out of the water by a kid of 19. It’s very simple. The problem is very simple. Pepe’s life has changed.”
Eden Hazard | Chelsea | May 2014
Mourinho: “When the comments come from a player like Eden it’s normal because he’s not the kind of player to sacrifice himself for the team. Normally you get these kind of comments from players like him, from players that can’t resolve a problem like we had in the first goal.
“Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and to leave his life for him.”
Luke Shaw | Manchester United | April 2017
Mourinho: “I think he has lots of potential but the football brain and the professional brain has to be in with the talent.
“I think in previous generations it was more difficult to be a big player, more difficult to be rich – rich after the career, at this moment they are rich when the career starts. It is not an easy life for them.
“I think he has to change his football brain. I was telling him just now, he was doing things in the second half because he was reacting to my voice. If he was playing on the other side, for sure he would not do it because I was not there to think for him.”
Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard | Manchester United | November 2018
Mourinho: “When we talk about Luke Shaw, Martial, Lingard, Rashford, we’re talking about kids with great potential but still lack a word I can’t say but that you like a lot… they lack a bit of that.
“Character, personality, as they say in Spain as well, bad blood, that natural aggression that you had.”
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