Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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‘Pre-season hit by Covid-19’ – Mourinho

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is happy the cameras documenting his team are gone

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho said a number of his players had coronavirus over the summer after a season-opening defeat by Everton.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header ensured Spurs started the 2020-21 Premier League campaign with a 1-0 home defeat.

Mourinho criticised his players’ “lazy pressing” and was angered by the match officials, questioning the position of Lucas Digne’s free-kick which led to Everton’s winner.

But the Portuguese admitted he was happy to no longer be starring in a fly-on-the-wall Amazon documentary.

Mourinho did not name the players who had been infected but said it had disrupted his side’s preparations for the new season.

“Harry Kane trained with us once,” added Mourinho.

“Moussa Sissoko, a couple and I am not going player by player. For different reasons many of our players didn’t have proper pre-seasons.

“We had cases of positive Covid, we have the right not to say which players, but we had players, we had other players in quarantine due to proximity with positive players.

“We had a player in quarantine because he was on holiday in a country which the government quarantined, we had national teams where many of them went to their team so it was a difficult pre-season.”

‘We were lazy in our pressing’

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores for Everton against Tottenham
Dominic Calvert-Lewin got between Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier to score Everton’s goal

Having finished sixth in the table after a strong finish last season, Spurs are looking to push on in 2020-21 but were flat against a high-energy Everton side.

Striker Harry Kane only touched the ball twice in Everton’s penalty area while Dele Alli was substituted at half-time.

Although Everton keeper Jordan Pickford produced excellent saves to deny Alli and new signing Matt Doherty, Mourinho said: “If you don’t press them you give them ammunition.

“We were lazy in our pressing. That is a consequence of bad fitness, bad pre-season.

“Some players didn’t even have a pre-season. Some players had a wrong state of mind. I don’t want to speak about it – I’m not sure about it.

“I’m disappointed with my team.”

Mourinho upset with match officials

Calvert-Lewin got between Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld to power a header past Hugo Lloris for the winner.

Mourinho claimed Everton took the free-kick “at least five metres” further forward than it should have been and was critical of referee Martin Atkinson and his officials.

“It is not an excuse for the result or defeat or performance,” he said.

“With so many referees on the pitch and on the line, to take a kick a minimum of five metres distance [away from where the foul was] is incredible.

“It’s a huge difference.”

Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch at the end of Tottenham's defeat to Everton
Jose Mourinho was defeated on the opening matchday of a league campaign for the first time in his managerial career

‘I’m so happy Amazon cameras have gone’

Mourinho takes centre stage in a documentary about Tottenham on Amazon Prime.

Entitled ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ it charts a season in which the London club navigated their way through a house move, dramatic change in personnel, injuries to key players and a global pandemic.

The documentary offers a rare glimpse of Mourinho behind the headlines.

In one episode he reveals his dog has died and in another he is questioned by defender Danny Rose about why he is not playing.

Asked by BBC MOTD after Sunday’s defeat what his message is to his players, Mourinho said: “My message is inside [the dressing room].

“I’m so happy there is no more Amazon so things can stay inside [the dressing room] between us. That’s the way I like it.”

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