Jose Mourinho defends counter-attacking philosophy after Tottenham beat Arsenal with 35% possession… and says his Spurs side are ‘reassured’ by his experience at the top of the table
- Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are currently joint-top of the Premier League table
- Spurs beat Arsenal 2-0 but again had less possession than their opponents
- It’s the 11th time his side have had less than 35% of the ball in the Premier League
- But Mourinho insisted that it was more important what his side did with the ball
Jose Mourinho has fired back at critics of his playing style with table-topping Tottenham, insisting possession is for ‘philosophers’.
Captain Harry Kane also defended Spurs’ philosophy after he scored in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over rivals Arsenal. It was the 11th time a Mourinho side had enjoyed no more than 35 per cent possession in a Premier League match.
Nine of those have now ended in victory but Mourinho again came under fire.
Jose Mourinho has fired back at criticism of his playing style with table-topping Tottenham
Harry Kane also defended Spurs’ style after their 2-0 north London derby win against Arsenal
‘This ball possession story is more for sports philosophers than it’s for me. No one has ever seen me say “I lost that game but I had more possession”,’ he said.
‘What matters is what you do with the ball.’ Kane, who said he feels in the form of his life, again combined with Son Heung-min to devastating effect.
He added: ‘We play well on the counter-attack, we’ve got fast players. We’ve been clinical when we’ve got our chances…. sometimes you just have to defend and sit deep.’
Mourinho was also asked whether he is now proving wrong those who felt his best days had passed.
Mourinho was pleased with how his team played on the counter-attack during Sunday’s victory
Tottenham stifled Arsenal in the second period after taking a two-goal lead in the first-half
‘When people said my peak was over, I won three titles at (Manchester United),’ he said.
‘So my peak passed, I won a (EFL) Cup, a Super Cup (Community Shield) and a Europa League. It was at the moment that my peak passed. Imagine others who never get that.’
On being top, he added: ‘I’m calm, I’m happy. Obviously Tottenham are Tottenham, people are not used to it. But I’m used to it.
‘And maybe that feeling of deja-vu, this situation of having already lived these positions many times, maybe it helps to reassure the players.’