New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had plenty of words of comfort for Mauricio Pochettino, but a few harsh ones for Harry Kane, after Spurs had suffered Champions League final heartache against Liverpool back in June.
A whirlwind 12 hours at Tottenham has seen Pochettino’s five-and-a-half-year tenure ended on Tuesday night, shortly after 7.30pm, before the club announced in a statement early on Wednesday morning the appointment of Mourinho on a three-and-a-half-year deal as his replacement.
The dismissal of Pochettino less than six months after leading Tottenham to world football’s biggest club match has sent ripples through the football world, but Mourinho suggested after witnessing Spurs’ 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano that while he had every right to be proud perhaps the Argentine lacked that winning mentality when it truly counted.
“That’s the drama of football and sometimes it’s not fair,” Mourinho said of Pochettino’s trophy-less stint with Spurs on the night while working as a commentator that night for beIN Sports.
“Mauricio has had four very good years at Spurs, brings them to the final for the Champions League, and he’s still waiting for the first trophy of his career.
“I feel very sorry for Mauricio but I think the English supporter is very loyal and they know when people give everything. They are a bit different than in other countries when everything is just about winning.
“I think the Tottenham fans are proud of their team. They still look to this team and this manager as a historical team for them.
“They will feel some love at home and next season when they go back to business, they will go with the pride of what they did and not in a low.”
One man who looked well below his best in the game was England striker Kane, who struggled to impose himself on the Liverpool defence in one of his more disappointing performances for Tottenham.
Reflecting on that display, Mourinho added: “Harry Kane was hidden all the time. He normally drops back, comes in between the lines, normally he’s the link player.
“He receives the ball from one side, he goes between the lines, he turns, plays with the other full back, arrives in the box. Nothing of this dynamic yet.”