Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho laid into his players on social media after their dismal showing in their 1-0 defeat to Antwerp – promising to haul them in for training on Friday morning.
The north London side were well off the pace in their Europa League group stage clash in Belgium and Mourinho was left seething at his team’s performance, claiming he would have happily made eleven changes at half time.
A poor mistake by Ben Davies allowed Antwerp’s Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris in the first half, with the Portuguese boss causing a shock by making four alterations at the interval. He refused to hold back after the final whistle, posting a picture of himself on the team bus and claiming he was ‘upset’ – promising to drag his players in for training on Friday morning.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho tore into his players after their dismal defeat against Antwerp
His side produced one of their worst displays under the Portuguese since he arrived last year
Writing on his Instagram account, the Spurs manager said: ‘Bad performances deserve bad results. Hope everyone in this bus is as upset as I am. Tomorrow 11am training.’
But his decision to publicly call his stars out on social media didn’t sit well with BT pundit Martin Keown, who fired back at Mourinho for shaming them.
Keown said: ‘(Keep it) in the dressing room, surely. I don’t think my respect grows for the manager. Some of them going off will have been wounded, maybe my career is over, and I don’t think the players that came on were much better.
‘If you want to talk to me, talk to my face, no?
He criticised them for their ‘bad performance’ in their 1-0 loss to Antwerp in the Europa League
Mourinho lost patience with his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes
‘These are messages and I think keep it in house. It’s churlish, a bit childish at times. Players have to keep their mouths shut and he is on Instagram.
‘I don’t think that’s healthy. When I see that sort of thing I don’t think that (togetherness) exists.
‘He gets tough with the players, you need to keep them on board those squad players. It should be equal for every single player. There should be a pathway for every player. It’s a message to them, it hurts.
BT pundit Martin Keown fired back at Mourinho for taking to social media to shame his players
It was evident that Mourinho had lost patience with some of his players during the game, as he made four half-time changes.
Dele Alli was the most notable player to be taken off as he failed to make it out for the second half for the second time in three starts this season, with Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn and Carlos Vinicius also benched.
The 24-year-old former MK Dons star is facing an uncertain future after being left out of a number of matchday squads by Mourinho, but missed a chance to impress in Belgium. While Mourinho did not name check him specifically, he stressed his ‘future choices are going to be very easy’ with regards to team selection.
‘Look, you know what’s our best team,’ he said. ‘You know the same thing that I know, that everybody knows. But I always like to think the players deserve an opportunity.
It was a mistake by Ben Davies that allowed Lior Refaelov to fire one past Hugo Lloris
‘We have a big squad with lots of good players. It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities to play and catch the chance with both hands and be in conditions to ask for more.
‘And tonight my future choices are going to be very easy. But again, there’s only one responsible. Not the players. It’s my responsibility because it’s my decision to play.
‘I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that, especially with you (the media). I think it is fair to say that players with bad performances they influence the team, but also the team influences individual performances.
‘So it is not for me to individualise and to bring some names to the table. You prefer to do that, before matches you always ask me why this player is not playing, why this player is not playing, why this player is not selected. Maybe now for a few weeks you don’t ask me that because you have the answer.’
Mourinho was far from happy and claimed he would have made eleven subs at half time
Dele Alli was one of four stars hooked as he failed to shine after being picked to start the game
It wasn’t just Alli who failed to sparkle in the first half, as Mourinho sent on Son Heung-min, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura on to try and change the complexity of the game. But he claimed he would have changed the entire line-up if he could in a stinging jibe at his squad.
‘I would like to make 11 changes (at half-time). I didn’t make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any changes to make.
‘There is only one to blame, which is me. I made the team, I chose the players to start and at half-time I tried to improve the situation, but it was not enough.
‘The dynamic of the first half was there and the mentality of the first half was there.’