Jose Mourinho has rarely resorted to using the infamaous ‘hairdryer’ treatment on his players since joining Tottenham Hotspur. However, the Portuguese didn't hold back, as he criticized his team following last week’s defeat to Royal Antwerp.
Spurs were full of confidence going into last week's Europa League game, but Mourinho’s much-changed starting line-up failed to deliver. Following an abject 1-0 loss against the Belgian outfit, the Spurs manager stated there would be consequences for the team's uninspired display.
During a press conference that saw the manager at his sarcastic best, Mourinho made it clear he was disappointed by the performance of his squad's fringe players. He went on to claim that the next few games would see his best players start all matches, regardless of the opposition.
Mourinho not happy with Spurs flops
"You know what our best team is. I always like to think the players deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad," he stated, as quoted by Goal.
"It's also an opportunity to be grabbed with both hands. After tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy.”
That loss against Royal Antwerp remains Tottenham’s only defeat in their last 12 games across all competitions. However, as the club prepares to face Ludogorets Razgrad on Thursday, Mourinho has some tough choices to make.
Royal Antwerp occupies the first position in Group J of the Europa League, three points ahead of Spurs. This makes the game against Ludogorets a must-win for the North London outfit. But which players will Mourinho trust to get the job done?
Will Mourinho rest his stars?
The Portuguese would definitely love to rest the likes of Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg, Toby Alderweireld, and Lucas Moura. Tottenham's starting eleven is coming off a busy week and could do with a rest.
Whether Mourinho will turn to his squad depth is another question. The only player who has redeemed himself after the humiliating defeat in Antwerp is Gareth Bale.
The Welsh star scored the winner in last week’s 2-1 victory against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.
On the other hand, the likes of Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Dele Alli, Harry Winks, and Giovani Lo Celso have failed to impress when handed starts in cup games.
With qualification to the Europa League's knockout stage up for grabs, Mourinho faces a selection conundrum ahead of the crucial Ludogorets clash.