Jose Mourinho's early-season moans often lead to the sack

Jose Mourinho’s early-season moans often lead to the sack later… so will his blast at ‘lazy’ Spurs have same result as his grumble about the ‘quality of the eggs’ at Chelsea or his demand for ‘respect, respect, respect’ at Manchester United?

  • Tottenham were defeated by Everton in their opening game of the new season 
  • Jose Mourinho bemoaned his side’s fitness and branded his players as ‘lazy’
  • The manager’s early season meltdowns have not ended well in the past 
  • He was quickly sacked by Chelsea and Manchester United after similar rants

One day into the new Premier League season and Jose Mourinho is already moaning.

His sluggish Tottenham side were beaten by a dominant Everton with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header giving the Toffees a 1-0 victory in north London.

The Portuguese boss was livid after the game, branding his players ‘lazy’, adding ‘I did not like my team today’.

He also highlighted his players’ lack of fitness, complaining that some of his squad had not trained properly before the opening game. 

Worryingly for the manager, early-season moans in the Premier League have usually resulted in him being sacked before the end of the campaign – as was seen during his tenure at Manchester United and two spells with Chelsea.

Will it be the same story at Spurs?

Jose Mourinho branded his players as lazy and complained many had not had a pre-season

A lack of signings and ‘no ordinary blanket’

Despite winning back-to-back titles in his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho was still on the lookout to improve his squad.

But when the manager was unable to sign the players he wanted, he made his frustrations known – albeit with an unusual comparison.

‘It is like having a blanket that is too small for the bed,’ he said in 2007. ‘You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and your feet stick out.

‘I cannot buy a bigger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But I am content because the blanket is cashmere. It is no ordinary blanket.’

Mourinho would soon bemoan the Blues’ lack of recruitment once more following his side’s injury crisis. 

Mourinho’s first spell at Chelsea was full of quips, and trophies, before it went sour

‘No eggs – no omelettes!’

It would be Mourinho’s final pre-game press conference as Chelsea manager during his first spell in charge – and it was certainly a memorable one.

The Blues took on Rosenborg in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge with the Norwegian side claiming an unlikely 1-1 draw. Ahead of the game, Mourinho ranted about the state of his squad – which was missing Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack due to injuries.

‘The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs,’ said the manager.

‘No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs. In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.’ 

Mourinho’s differences with owner Roman Abramovich proved too much with the coach departing just one month into the season. 

Mourinho left after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Rosenborg in the 2007-08 Champions League

Chelsea (2013-2015) 

Mourinho loses his cool with Blues’ doctor 

The opening day of the 2015-2016 season saw Chelsea begin their title defence with a home fixture against Swansea.

The Blues took the lead twice but could only manage a 2-2 draw. However, it wasn’t the result but Mourinho’s heated argument with club doctor Eva Carneiro that took the headlines.

Eden Hazard had gone down with an injury in the closing stages of the game and Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn both ran onto the pitch to treat the forward.

The then Chelsea manager raged at club doctor Eva Carneiro after she treated Eden Hazard

A furious Mourinho, who was angry that Hazard would have to leave the pitch following treatment, raged at the pair with lip readers deciphering that he yelled: ‘Hey! HEY! Get off the pitch now. F*****g hell,’ before shouting the Portuguese term ‘filho da puta’ (which translates as son of a bitch) at Carneiro as she returned to the sidelines.

Mourinho banned the doctor from sitting on the bench for future games before leaving the door open for her return in his following press conference. While Fearn made it back to the dugout, Carneiro left the following month and went on to sue the club for constructive dismissal, securing a £5million settlement and apology.

Chelsea’s season didn’t get any better and Mourinho was eventually sacked in December with the champions 16th in the table, just one point above the relegation zone. 

Manchester United (2016-2018) 

Pre-season frustrations

The season hadn’t even started when Mourinho had his first rant ahead of the 2018-2019 campaign.

The manager was frustrated at a lack of transfers with the club reluctant to make more funds available following the signing of Alexis Sanchez in January – a deal that proved to be hugely unsuccessful. 

United ended up signing Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant but Mourinho wanted Harry Maguire to strengthen his defence – a transfer the club ended up completing after the manager’s departure.

‘I want two more players,’ said an irritated Mourinho in July 2018. ‘I think I will get one. For that one, I gave my club five names.’ 

Manchester United officials were not keen to spend more after signing Alexis Sanchez (left)

‘Respect, respect, respect’

Three days into the 2018-2019 campaign saw United defeated 3-0 by Spurs at Old Trafford.

It was Mourinho’s worst home defeat of his whole career but he still praised his team’s performance in his post-match press conference, highlighting the fans who had applauded them off the pitch.

But when it was put to him that large numbers of supporters had left before the end of the game, the manager gave a furious response.

He said: ‘Today the players left the pitch after losing at home and they were applauded, because they deserved it, so keep trying, and trying, and trying, and keep trying [to ask questions].’

Holding up three fingers, Mourinho continued: ‘Just to finish, do you know what was the result? 3-0. But it also means three Premierships and I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. 

Mourinho stood up and asked a reporter for him and his winning record to be ‘respected’

‘Three for me and two for them two [Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini]. So respect man, respect, respect, respect.

‘Me three, them two. So respect, respect, respect.’

That was the start of the Mourinho’s downfall at Old Trafford with the club sacking him in December before bringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his replacement.

Tottenham (2019-Present)

‘Lazy’ Spurs

Tottenham beat Everton 1-0 in July and that day it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side who were lethargic. But the Toffees were a different team as new signings James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure impressed as they took all three points back to Merseyside.

Spurs did not look like a team aiming to finish in the top four and Mourinho bemoaned his side’s lack of intensity before complaining that some of his players had not had a full pre-season.

‘That is a consequence of bad fitness, bad pre-season,’ he said after the game.

‘Some players didn’t even have a pre-season. Some players had a wrong state of mind. I did not like my team today.

A sluggish Spurs were beaten 1-0 by a dominant Everton side on the opening day of the season

‘We did not have the physical condition, we had no intensity. Harry Kane has trained with us once. Moussa Sissoko just twice. For different reasons, players have not been able to train. 

‘We had cases of positive coronavirus tests, we had other players who had to quarantine, other players away with the national team. 

‘I would say it was lazy pressure and when you have lazy pressure you don’t press, you let opponents build from the back.’  

A poor start for Spurs who take on Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League second qualifying round on Thursday before travelling to Southampton three days later.




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