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Why Jose Mourinho loves ‘chaotic’ Erik Lamela

Lamela made his first start since November in Spurs’ 2-0 win over West Brom on Sunday, impressing from the right wing, and subsequently played 98 minutes of Wednesday’s FA Cup defeat to Everton, which went to extra-time.

While Mourinho loves Lamela’s attitude, he is conscious of the Argentine’s history of injuries and revealed he would consult the winger before deciding if he could feature against the runaway Premier League leaders.

When it was suggested that Lamela had many of the attributes valued by Mourinho, the Spurs manager said: “I just want to confirm, a good Lamela I love. You are right. He is the kind of player that I like very much.

“The first thing I like about him is he wants to play. He wants to assume responsibility. He never hides. He wants the ball. He’s a little bit sometimes chaotic, but it’s a positive reason to be chaotic because it’s, ‘I want to play, I want the ball, if the ball is not arriving to me I have to arrive to the ball’.

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“I love Coco. Of course when I arrived, his history of injuries was incredibly negative. Was very, very, very hard. That’s the truth.

“In this moment he’s fit, but of course a player with his history, he played 90 minutes against West Brom I think [he actually played 74].

“Even more [against Everton], so let’s see, but honestly I’m going to ask him ‘can you play again from the start’ because if he feels he can of course I’m going to play him.”

Mourinho also reiterated his support for centre-half Eric Dier, who has been dropped for the last two matches following costly mistakes in defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea.

“Eric is one of the guys I really like,” Mourinho said. “Eric is always Eric – if he is playing, if he is not playing, difficult moments, easier moments.

“The most difficult one [for him] was when I substituted him against Olympiakos in minute 25 or something like that and since that moment I understood the guy was a team player and was a guy who is not selfish.

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“He is a guy who is not thinking about him, he is thinking about the team and he accepted that situation like a professional and I trust him. I trust Eric and I like and I like the feeling of trusting a player. A player makes a mistake, he makes a mistake but he is a player I trust and I like that feeling.”

Spurs beat City 2-0 in November but Pep Guardiola’s side have not lost since and on Wednesday entered the record books with a 15th consecutive win in all competitions, the first time the feat has been achieved by an English top-flight side.

Mourinho believes City have no weaknesses and said his side must be “absolutely perfect” to end their unbeaten run.

“It’s a team that wins every match,” he said. “They score a lot of goals and I don’t think they concede. I think they conceded three in so many matches and one of the three it was a penalty.

“I don’t see any weakness and that’s why I was saying to win the game we need to be absolutely perfect in every aspect and in every minute because they’re really a very, very strong team.”


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