Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Serge Aurier slams former Tottenham coach for dressing room ‘deterioration’; hails Mourinho

Serge Aurier, formerly of Tottenham

Former Tottenham player Serge Aurier has criticised a coach for causing the dressing room to ‘deteriorate’ in north London – but the star insists Jose Mourinho isn’t to blame.

Aurier joined Tottenham from Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017, with the Premier League side paying £23million for his signature. The right-back went on to make 110 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring eight times.

However, he never truly convinced Tottenham fans after some sub-par performances in the famous white shirt. And his starting spot came under threat when Matt Doherty arrived from Wolves in August 2020.

Aurier featured in 27 matches for Spurs last season as they finished seventh in the Premier League and reached the Carabao Cup final.

The Ivory Coast international left the club last summer as his contract was terminated by mutual consent. He is now at Villarreal and could feature against Liverpool in the Champions League semis on Wednesday night.

During an interview with The Telegraph, Aurier was asked about his time at Spurs.

He said Mourinho’s assistant manager, Joao Sacramento, was partly to blame for the dressing room ‘deterioration’. However, he refused to pin any blame on Mourinho and actually praised the current Roma boss.

“Football is different compared to 10 years ago,” Aurier said. “He [Mourinho] is still a great coach, but there are things that have evolved. Sometimes players need more love and attention.

Serge Aurier criticises Mourinho assistant

“I’m not speaking for Jose, I’m speaking for his assistant. Joao is a tough guy and he didn’t have a good relationship with the dressing room, that’s why everything deteriorated. There was a lack of good communication.

“It was one of his [Sacramento’s] first experiences in a first team and he lacked calm with the players.

“He needed to be more concerned about the person behind the player.

“Sometimes, when you don’t play, a lot of s*** goes through your head. You need someone to calm you down and help you, to give you good vibes, not to send you negative messages. And I think it all started there.”

Aurier was more positive about Mourinho, though.

“One day we argued, but it was over a tactical issue,” the player added. “I wasn’t happy with his decisions and I went to talk to his office.

“I knew I could talk to him without any problems because he likes the player to be honest. The day after, the problem was solved.

“I love it because Mourinho listens to you, and then he tells you what he thinks.

“Sometimes you hate him and you want to kill him, but then you love him because his character is that of a born winner and I identify with him a lot. I have nothing against him.”

Mourinho was sacked by Spurs shortly before their Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

When asked about the decision, Serge Aurier replied: “Imagine if we had won that final with him.

“Maybe they would have gone crazy for him to stay and they would have offered him a contract renewal just for short-term thinking after winning a title.

“And if the club really wanted to sack him, it would have been impossible to do that after winning the Carabao Cup.”

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