Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Jose Mourinho is of the belief that his side’s slow start to the Premier League season was caused by a poor pre-season which was due to some certain key players testing positive for coronavirus and also threw a jibe at the officiating.
Everton went up 1-0 to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s second-half goal at the new Tottenham stadium, Jose believes that the goal shouldn’t have stood because the free-kick that led to the goal was taken in the wrong place.
Mourinho never had full squad for training all the time as several unnamed players tested positive for Covid-19, a part of the team also had to quarantine due to their participation in national team matches.
“Harry Kane trained with us once,” he said. “Moussa Sissoko, a couple and I am not going player by player. For different reasons many of our players didn’t have proper pre-seasons.
“We had cases of positive Covid, we have the right not to say which players, but we had players, we had other players in quarantine due to proximity with positive players.
“We had a player in quarantine because he was on holiday in a country which the government quarantined, we had national teams where many of them went to their team so it was a difficult pre-season.
“I couldn’t expect them to be sharp, intense, agile. But I was expecting much more individually and collectively.
“It disappoints me, and that is where I have now to work. The players who didn’t have pre-season, we don’t have now the possibility to give them a pre-season but we have a lot of matches now to play consecutively and we have to use these matches, not just to win them and the knockout ones are obviously decisive ones with everything decided in 120 minutes or even penalties, and try to use this to improve the form of some players because some of them were really in trouble.”
Tottenham weren’t really a bad team as they had great chances in the first half but were not clinical enough even after the first half and Calvert-Lewin’s 55th-minute header was enough to get Everton the three points.
“I didn’t like my team, but I didn’t like that so many referees on the pitch and on the touchline and in front of the screen allow a free-kick to be taken five or six metres in front to allow a completely different angle of delivery.
“I can complain now because I was complaining before the goal. But I didn’t like my team.”
Carlo Ancelotti got backing of the board in the summer and all three signings Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez impressed in the 1-0 win.
“We are satisfied, I am satisfied, the performance of the team was brilliant,” he said. “I am pleased for the performance, it was an important one against a difficult team.
“I am pleased we started the season well and we showed we can compete which is the most important message to take. We can compete with everyone if the spirit is good, if the attitude is good and the players showed this.
“We said that our target is to try and reach European position, we started well. The problem we had last season a lot of the time we were up and down the first game was good, we have to see for the second and third. I have a lot of confidence, I had some before this game and now I have more but we have to be focused.”