Mourinho says attacking Spurs still far from Real deal

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was criticised for being overly defensive during his time in charge of Manchester United and in his first season at Spurs. ― Reuters pic
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was criticised for being overly defensive during his time in charge of Manchester United and in his first season at Spurs. ― Reuters pic

LONDON, Oct 26 — Jose Mourinho has said his free-scoring Tottenham Hotspur side still have a long way to go in match the attacking threat of the celebrated Real Madrid team he guided to La Liga glory.

Spurs have scored 31 goals in their last nine games in all competitions ahead of today’s trip to Burnley in the Premier League, with England star Harry Kane and South Korea’s Son Heung-min both in fine form this season.

Yet even that glut is overshadowed by the 121 goals that Real managed when winning La Liga in 2011/12 under the guidance of the much-travelled Mourinho, also a title-winning manager in his native Portugal with Porto, in England with Chelsea and in Italy with Inter Milan.

At the Bernabeu, Mourinho had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain to call upon up front in addition to a solid defensive unit.

But Tottenham, who were last crowned champions of England nearly fifty years ago, have been unusually profligate for a Mourinho team which they demonstrated while letting slip a 3-0 lead in the final 10 minutes of an extraordinary 3-3 draw with London rivals West Ham last week.  

“In Real Madrid, I had amazing, amazing attacking players and we managed to build the team in a certain way,” Mourinho said.

“I have to be honest and say we have lots of good attacking players here but we need to give stability to the team because the team needs stability in the back to feel solid, confident — to (be able to) have a go,” he added with Spurs currently a modest 11th in the Premier League table.

“So we need to find that balance... Behind, we need to improve in some details — that’s obvious.”

Mourinho was criticised for being overly defensive during his time in charge of Manchester United and in his first season at Spurs.

But he insisted tactics were conditioned by the players at his disposal, saying: “Depends on the team. They cannot say that about my Real Madrid team that scored 121 goals in the league.

“If they say that about the way to finish second with Manchester United or last season to try to get a way to finish top six and to be in the Europa League, I think they are right.” — AFP

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