Every word Mourinho said on Dele Alli, Reguilon, Bale and his classy answer to upset journalist


Will Dele Alli and Sergio Reguilon be travelling?

Dele Alli, yes makes the trip, Sergio no, he’s not even in the UEFA list because we knew he wouldn’t be ready to play this match so we kept the same list of the previous round, and Sergio not yet.

Could Sergio play in the third qualifier?

In this moment the list comes match after match so if we progress for the next match we can change players in the list.

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What was Dele’s response to being dropped?

I always told [you] that he will have his opportunities, that [there’s] no problem at all to have him and, like every other player, performances are very important. He’s coming, he has a chance to play and it will be important for him to perform.

It will be important for him and every other player, when the squad becomes competitive in many positions, it’s important for every player on the pitch to have an answer and perform.

How have Gareth Bale and Reguilon settled in?

They both look very happy for different reasons. For Gareth it’s to be back home and he’s showing that he’s really, really happy. He’s working hard to try to recover from his injury and try to be fit as soon as possible.

Sergio is in the more advanced stage, he’s also feeling really happy and comfortable. Speaks really good English so no problem for him to interact and come easily to the team. Everything is going really well for them. We, as a whole, as a club, as an organisation, impressed them. They’re happy and motivated and the team is waiting for them.

How hard was it having yesterday’s game cancelled so late?

It was hard because we didn’t know what to do, even during the day when we had a training session, I didn’t know if it was a training session with a game or a training session without a game, it was not easy but we managed to find a balance and to keep the players active until the moment we were not going to play the game.

You made a point of building Dele up when you arrived, what does he need to do from here?

I believe Tottenham is a special club, my players must be special players and I must be a special club, because every club has situations where players are not playing, are on the bench, are not selected and it looks like only for us that every time some player doesn’t play or is not selected it looks like something that doesn’t happen in many other places.

That is my first part of the answer. The second part is something we all know. We all know that since Dele arrived from MK Dons he had ups and downs, he had fabulous periods and also other periods where he disappeared from the top level of performances. With me it was not different than before.

He had moments where he was so good and he also had moments when he was not so good. This lack of inconsistency when it happens in a player, the normal situation when you have good players for similar positions, it is normal when you are in great form you play because you deserve because your production is big for the team.

When you are not in a good moment, you don’t play and it is as simple as that. Players have to prove on the pitch with their performance, prove how good they are in that specific moment. Tomorrow he is selected, no decision yet about starting or being on the bench, but when he is selected he has chances to play. If he is on the pitch one minute or 90 minutes he has to show us, it’s that simple.

Will you now play the same team you were playing at Orient in Macedonia or is it not that simple?

The team that was supposed to play last night is different to the team that plays tomorrow. The main reason is that we played last Sunday at Southampton and one thing is Sunday Tuesday and another is Sunday Thursday.

So this is a normal situation for a football player of this level to have three days rest and to play again on Thursday. Normal.
It’s not normal to play Sunday and then play Tuesday so obviously the teams are going to be different. The main reason is health and conditions to perform.

Is the Europa League a competition that we want very much to get to the group stage? Yes it is. I think from my experience and even you without experience in my chair, but as a journalist you could perfectly feel that it’s much more difficult these knockouts than the group stage of four teams and six matches, because the six matches give us a little space for a mistake.

For example at United we lost two matches in the group stage, we won four and we progressed, so we cannot take many risks with these matches and even playing with a very strong team like we did in Bulgaria we were 15 minutes from a defeat and being knocked out.

What do you make of the testing policy in the Carabao Cup and what happened last night?

In relation to the Carabao Cup, my initial feeling was when people didn’t respect us why should we respect the competition.

But in the end it’s a competition where I have a history. Tottenham has a history. It was the last trophy that Tottenham won and it’s a competition where we feel we have the same rights as everyone else to compete and basically it’s that.

In relation to testing and Covid and all of this situation so many contradictions that I don’t want myself to go into this world of contradictions. I see so many contradictions. The way different countries react to it, the way football alternatives in different countries react to it, there are so many contradictions that honestly I just do what I’m told to do and I don’t want to get into that.

Dele Alli in training with Tottenham
Dele Alli has been left out of recent Tottenham line ups. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Do you expect Dele to stay past this transfer window?

Yeah.

Is it about tough love? Can you get best out of him?

There is a tendency now when a player performs or doesn’t perform to give responsibilities on coaches and some because they give him the right love, some because they give him the right stick.

I always feel that 99 per cent of the responsibility is the player. I have 1 per cent. Me and my staff and the people that work with the players everyday. We have 1 per cent of that responsibility. 99 percent of that belongs to them.

That Amazon scene with you and Dele…

I’m tired of Amazon and I’m not tired of Dele because he’s a great kid, but I’m tired of questions on Dele Alli.

Fergie said you should sign Dele, would he say that now?

I don’t know. You would have to ask Sir Alex and Ole if Sir Alex gave the same opinion to Ole.

What are your thoughts on the Orient game being rearranged, can it be?

I have no idea, I have no idea. I was ready to play yesterday. Not happy but I process our calendar, I process my bad feelings in relation to the unfair schedule that we have and I was ready to play yesterday. We didn’t and now I’m ready to play tomorrow. I don’t know nothing else.

After the press conference finished, Macedonian journalist Igor Aleksandrovic was upset in the Zoom conference call because he had not understood the process of how to put questions to Mourinho and he had made a promise to his late father to do so. After the club were made aware of what had happened Mourinho returned.

Igor: “Hello boss, this is a unique opportunity for me to ask a question. I have two questions and one favour. I want to ask about the psychological preparation of the team to travel to Macedonia and also whether you would want to be a national team coach of Portugal or any country.

“The third one is a favour. I have to ask you something on behalf of my father. First greetings to you from him but he’s now in heaven. On one occasion when he was very sick, he told me if I ever have the opportunity to see you, to ask a picture with you because he always told me to be like you and raised me like you, to coach any team. Psychological, like winning and losing like that. And he had massive respect, my father with you, and if you allow me a picture with you, I will frame it and put it on his eternal resting place. So if the match goes good for you and your team, would you allow me to do that?”

Mourinho: “Thank you so much. The picture has nothing to do with the result. The picture is done, let’s do it. If you can meet us before the game, or maybe in the hotel is easier. If it’s after the game, it’s after the game. It’s nothing to do with results. My pleasure to do the picture with you. And my honour to your father and respect that he feels so strong about me. I don’t deserve that.

Igor: “The one time my father cried was the moment you coaching Chelsea and Iniesta scored a 90 minute Champions League goal. That was the only time that I see my father was crying.”

Mourinho: “(Smiles), the other two questions (turns to press officer who repeats them).”

Jose Mourinho will be looking to put his own stamp on the Tottenham team this summer
Jose Mourinho

On psychological approach: “It is not psychological, it is experience of many years, in fact today I celebrate the 20th anniversary of my career, it was 20 years ago that I played my first match.

“I have lots of experience, I played Europa League recently. I know these teams that nobody knows in the top world of football can be very dangerous, they are much better than they were 10 or 15 years ago.

“The same way it was difficult in Plovdiv, I was ready to have difficulty in Macedonia.

“I knew it will be difficult and I want the players to feel that and that is why I am taking the best players and best possible team, exactly to show that respect for the knockout which was always dangerous.”

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On international management: “Yes I want to do a national team. Not yet.

“I want to do by the end of my career, I want to have that experience of doing a World Cup and Euro, that short competition and that emotion of that short competition would be something I’d like to do.

“Is Portugal a country where I would like to do. On one side yes because it’s my heart but I think it’s more difficult too when you coach the country that you love and where you’re born, but for sure I would do a national team in 20 years.

“I still have 20 more years to coach clubs.”





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