Jose Mourinho has given an X-rated response about midfielder Tanguy Ndombele’s huge improvement at Tottenham.
Ndombele struggled to break into the Spurs side last season, but has been one of their brightest players so far in the current campaign.
The Frenchman was once again impressive in the 3-1 win over Sheffield United, capping off his performance with a sensational lob for Spurs’ third goal.
And when asked after the match what Mourinho puts Ndombele’s improvement down to, he launched into a passionate response.
“When sometimes I hear ‘Player x is not playing well because the team plays this way or that way’, that is bulls***,” he said.
“That is typical excuses from players’ entourage, directors without any idea of what football is, that is just speculation.
“I have coached for so many years, had so many players. I have enough experience to say and to feel that when a player is not playing very well, it’s his responsibility, and when a player turns things around, and brings his performance level to a very high level, it’s also his responsibility.
“It’s a great example [with Ndombele], the door is always open, the door of the team is always open, and when a player is not playing he has to try to understand why, he has to try to understand how can he walk through that door.
“He understood. The goal is amazing, but I don’t care about that, I care about the performance, the performance was magnificent, I’m really pleased he’s come to this level, he’s playing very, very well.”
Mourinho’s pointed riposte could be suggested to be a message towards current Spurs outcast Dele Alli, once again left out of the squad to face the Blades, or even loanee Gareth Bale, who has played just 160 minutes in the Premier League since arriving and was an unused substitute at Bramall Lane.
It remains to be seen if either has a bigger part to play in the coming weeks, with Spurs’ next game an FA Cup fourth round tie against Wycombe Wanderers on January 25.