Jose Mourinho apologises to Eric Dier over Tottenham midfielder’s first-half substitution
Jose Mourinho apologised into Eric Dier after his 29th-minute substitution at Tottenham’s 4-2 Champions League Triumph over Olympiakos.
Having a stunned Spurs 2-0 down in the first home match in charge of Mourinho, the manager made the call to hook Dier for the midfielder Christian Eriksen, who’d go on to play his role in their recovery victory.
The turnaround would be sparked by dele Alli’s goal on the stroke of half-time, prior to three objectives in 23 minutes – 2 from Harry Kane and yet another from Serge Aurier – watched them .
“The most difficult moment of the game wasn’t when they scored the first two goals, it was when I made the shift in the first half,” Mourinho said.
“It disturbs the player but also herself. It is hard for me personally or him. It’s essential that the participant understands, and I was lucky my decision was a very smart boy that has understanding of exactly what the group is, because I did it for the group. It was not about his performance, but what the staff needs.
“We are losing 2-0, at a very difficult situation in that moment, and I believed that you positional midfield player had been enough. I believed I had not having a closed triangle using just two midfielders, and a 2nd creative player who might play with Alli in what I call a open triangle. He understands I did it for not to hurt him and the group, although I apologise to Eric. I believe the fans knew also.”
A dreadful first-half showing made Mourinho to think his players had an arm in contrast to the hairdryer treatment at the break, and hardly deserved the present of an open target for Alli in injury-time.
“I needed to be a soft version of myself in half-time,” he explained. “This was a bit of a surprise for me concerning the players’ self assurance, playing at home with no best outcome, along with the Bayern [Munich] match in their own thoughts. I felt they had been in need of some love, rather than a criticism. One to provide them some emotional balance.
“After that, we had a small talk about a few strategic details, positional adjustments, however it was more about their assurance to face a tough situation and go for it.
“Conceding a historical goal at home, the players weren’t in a moment of amazing self-esteem where they say,’1-0, no problem’, there was a bit of a bad atmosphere among these players. The fans were fantastic, though. The reaction wasn’t to place more stress on them, but encourage them.
“And the way that they responded to the next half, the preparation of the second half, to come from behind to proceed and realizing a draw would provide us excellence together with Bayern winning, but not accept it and proceed for victory, go in search of happiness and confidence, they did this also.
“I expect another home game, the boys to start without ghosts, immediately open and confidently to play with, as they are very good players”
Spurs’ equaliser arrived Olympiakos was caught by Spurs to par off guard through Kane, after a ball boy returned the ball quickly from his throw-in after it had gone from play.
Mourinho made a point of shaking the ball boy’s hand following the goal and told his media conference:”To have the ball back in play quickly, you have to be a very good ball boy. I had been between 10 and 16 years old, he and a ball boy is too. He knows the game, reads it, he is not just to look at the stands, the game’s living and playing it.
“I wished to invite him to the dressing area to celebrate together with usbut he disappeared!”
Former Tottenham and England forward Darren Bent told The Debate after being hauled off ancient with Spurs losing 2-0, that Dier could have felt embarrassment, but added the 25-year-old, who’d spent fighting injury, must put it.
He said:”It happened to me half-time, and it was dreadful. Like everyone in the arena is looking at you, you feel, you feel it is all your fault. It kills you.
“However, I believe Dier can understand that they had some creativity within the pitch, and Eriksen made a difference. It was the right choice, but for yourself you really feel that everyone is looking at you and like you have not contributed personally. He can’t take it to heart and needs to proceed for the next match.”