Mourinho chastises ‘lazy’ element of Tottenham display key in defeat


Jose Mourinho pinpointed a “lazy” aspect of his Tottenham side’s performance that cost them dearly, and railed against the match officials over the placement of the free-kick that led to Everton’s goal.

Tottenham started their season with defeat after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s winner handed Everton all three points.

Spurs had their share of chances in the first half, but morale and effort levels appeared to quickly drop in the second half following Everton’s opener.

Speaking to BBC Sport following the game, Mourinho  said: “What happened after the goal with them having more chances is a consequence of conceding the goal and not such good fitness condition from some players.

“What happened before the goal was a good game. We had two incredible situations and two good saves from Jordan Pickford. We didn’t score. The game was open.

“In the second half one goal made a difference in the result and what happened after the goal.

“Against good teams like Everton if you let them play from the back they are comfortable with very good technical players. 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.

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“It was too easy for them to play from back to front.

“Technically it was not so easy because some players didn’t have a pre-season for different reasons. We had two days with everybody. Two days before the game is not where you can work too much.

“The goal shouldn’t be possible when you have six referees and VAR – to let a free-kick be taken five or six metres in front because it’s a huge difference.

“I’m disappointed with my team. My message is inside [the dressing room]. I’m so happy no more Amazon because these things can stay in between us.”

“I’m disappointed with the performance, yes. After the goal Everton dominate the game and were dangerous in counters too

“Taking Dele Alli off was tactical. Allan was in that position and Gomes and Docoure were pressing high with lots of space in those areas. I needed more there.

“The struggle starts in the way we didn’t press. Our pressure up was very poor – I’d say it was lazy pressure. When you have lazy pressure they build from the back.

“When you let them play from the back they are comfortable to have the ball. I repeat in the first half we had some good chances.

“The goal was a bit strange. It is not an excuse for the result or defeat or performance – 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.

“Before the goal I was saying to the referees – five metres makes a huge difference to the position of our back line and the angle of the cross.”

When asked if the Tottenham players should have done more to prevent the free-kick from being moved further forward, Mourinho replied: “We have meetings even now on Zoom asking the players not to complain to officials.

“The referee is there, the guys in VAR are in contact with him, Graham Scott the fourth official is there.

“I will be honest with the players, saying things I cannot say to you. But I can say to them keep working and not much time to think because on Thursday we have a knockout game (in the Europa League) so there is not much time to cry or complain.”