No way, says Jose, as he roasts festive fixtures ahead of Spurs’ trip to Norwich
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:10 27 December 2019
Jose Mourinho brings his Tottenham side to Carrow Road tomorrow – but perhaps wishes it was struck off the Premier League fixture list.
Having seen his team come from a goal down to beat Graham Potter's Brighton 2-1 on Boxing Day, Mourinho addressed the issue of following that up with another game exactly 48 hours later.
Victory came at a cost, with Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko picking up yellow cards that rule them out, when Spurs were already without Son Heung-min, who was sent off against Chelsea. Put that situation together with his thoughts on the festive schedule and it's fair to say the Spurs boss wasn't happy.
"I cannot imagine these boys, not just my boys, the Potter boys, how they can play in 48 hours," Mourinho said.
"If you got to control the distances they run, the intensity, the breaks if you are going to control that and if you are going to tell anyone who understands physiology, it's a crime that they are going to play football again on the 28th.
"It is against every rule of physiology, biology, biochemistry, every rule. But that is the way it is, even with the three guys suspended. I think from the three, two of them are unfair. Sonny unfair and Winks unfair. I can only say Sissoko had a reason for the fifth yellow card. We have to go."
Questions have been asked of Spurs midfielder Tanguy Ndombele who could provide a solution in midfield, even if the Frenchman ruled himself out of the game against Brighton. Ndombele wasn't injured - but had raised concerns over his physical condition.
"I cannot say he is injured, in five minutes we start a training session and you can go to the stands and watch it, he is going to be training normally so I cannot say he is injured," Mourinho explained.
"I can say that yesterday he told me he was not feeling in condition to play the game. Not based on injuries, based on fears of previous injuries that he has had since the beginning of the season.
"Feeling not ready to start the game, but I cannot say he is injured, I can say he is not in condition to start the game, which is different."
Dele Alli could also be seen holding his groin towards the end of the match so the likes of Eric Dier, Oliver Skipp, Christian Eriksen, Victor Wanyama, and Giovani Lo Celso all come into the manager's thoughts for Carrow Road.
It was a game which marked the 300th appearance in a Spurs shirt for Jan Vertonghen.
"I'm very proud to reach that number of appearances for the club," he said. "I only found out a day or two ago so yes, it is a big milestone and I'm delighted to get there.
"We have come very far over the last few years, both on and off the pitch. We are one of the teams that you have to look at if you are looking at teams that are going to try and win cups or the league. We are up there now, and we want to stay there.
"It's like, for example, if you are to lose a game, it is a very good sign that no matter who it is against you are very disappointed with that and it means that you want so much more from yourselves."