Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have dissected Jose Mourinho’s comments after Tottenham’s disappointing draw with Newcastle and questioned whether his words would have the desired impact in the dressing room.
Spurs came from a goal behind to lead Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday thanks to two Harry Kane goals, but eventually had to settle for a point due to Joe Willock’s late leveller.
Perhaps of more concern to Mourinho will be the amount of shots his side allowed their relegation battling opponents, who managed 22 attempts on goal.
Mourinho’s thoughts on the performance appeared clear in his post-match press conference, with his thinly-veiled remark in response to a reporter’s question.
“In the past, holding on to a lead is what you’ve been so good at,” Juliette Ferrington said, to which Mourinho replied: “Same coach, different players.”
The damning assessment was typical of the former Chelsea and Man Utd manager, but left Wright and Shearer bemused by his approach.
“If you’re saying it’s the same coach, different players, then are you saying that you, as a coach, are good enough but your players aren’t good enough to understand what you’re doing?” Wright said on Match of the Day 2.
“It was an excellent question and it would have been interesting for him to answer it as he’s just left it open. How are you feeling if you’re in the dressing room?”
Shearer added: “It’s criticism of his players, he’s basically saying that he’s a good enough coach but his players aren’t good enough.
“That’s why he’s made so many changes in the backline as he’s still searching and trying for a formula.
“We said before the game that the back four was get-at-able and Newcastle should create chances against that, which they did.”
Mourinho had gone in further on his players, without naming names, though the fact Davinson Sanchez and Serge Aurier were largely at fault for Newcastle’s first goal, via Joelinton, is very much indicative of his view.
“There are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have,” he said.
“It’s a bad result,” added Mourinho. “I’m not being disrespectful to Newcastle but that was a match to win. We made so many mistakes it led to instability and that led to hope in the opposition.
“We were very good in some moments but the game belongs to every moment and I cannot separate this game from those moments of instability.
“We had chances to kill the game but that instability affected everything.”