Joe Cole has said that Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele must learn to get over the criticism he has recently received from boss Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho called out Spurs’ record signing after a 1-1 draw at Burnley on March 7, saying the midfielder “has to give us more than he is giving us”.
The Portuguese felt he had reached breaking point with Ndombele, who has failed to deliver in his first season since a £63million summer move from Lyon.
The Frenchman has battled niggling fitness issues throughout the campaign, leading to Mourinho saying he is “always injured”, and when he has been fit there have been times that his work-rate has been questioned.
Cole has been on the end of similar treatment from Mourinho as he was singled out for criticism when at Chelsea, first over his lack of desire to defend and then over showboating.
The former England international says Ndombele has to take the criticism on the chin and provide the right response.
“When it happened to me it was not a problem,” Cole told the PA news agency.
“It is a grown up’s sport. If you don’t play well or you don’t do what you are supposed to do, whether you expect to get criticised publicly or not, you need to be tough, you need to understand the nature of the beast.
“He is a young man, the right response is to knuckle down and perform.
“I saw the performance in question and if he was one of my players that would have been my stance on it.
“Whether or not I did it publicly, that is always the discussion to have with your coaching staff, what’s the benefit?
“For the young lad, this is football, it can be a tough, brutal sport at time. You’re in the limelight, but we are very lucky to do what we have to do so you have to take the rough with the smooth.”
Cole, who enjoyed plenty of success under Mourinho, says his former boss will have made a judgement on whether to criticise Ndombele publicly was the right thing to do.
“Jose will know what he is doing, he will know what the lad’s character is,” Cole added. “He will expect the lad to react, turn his time at Tottenham around, kick-start his career or he will expect for the lad to move on.
“It will be nothing personal but certain jobs have to be done on the pitch. Hopefully the lad can do that.
“At times that treatment worked on me. He gets the best out of a lot of players, that is why he has won multiple trophies at multiple clubs across Europe.
“He knows about managing people. He knows when to whip the horse and when to not and that is management.”