‘Speak about Liverpool, Manchester United, City and their players getting penalties’: Jose Mourinho fumes at suggestions Harry Kane has been ‘clever’ to win cheap spot-kicks for Tottenham – and turns up the heat on Mohamed Salah and Co
- Harry Kane was awarded a controversial penalty against Brighton on Sunday
- Jose Mourinho came out with a fierce defence of his striker at press conference
- He refuted claims Kane was ‘clever’ and told the media to look at Spurs’ rivals
- Mourinho was insistent that Adam Lallana’s challenge was ‘reckless’ on Kane
Jose Mourinho hit back at accusations that Harry Kane tricked his way to a penalty against Brighton by turning fire on some of Tottenham’s Premier League rivals.
‘Don’t speak about Harry Kane,’ said Mourinho as he prepared for today’s Europa League game in Bulgaria against Ludogorets.
‘Speak about Liverpool, speak about Man City speak about Man United. Speak about these penalties that you see, and the clever guy that comes near and somebody blows, and they are on the floor.
Harry Kane (bottom) received some criticism for his part in winning a penalty for Tottenham
Adam Lallana clattered into the England star, the referee awarded a foul and VAR said penalty
‘There are players in other clubs who love to do it and they do it so, so well but you’re not talking about Harry Kane.’
Kane scored the first Spurs goal from the spot in a 2-1 win against Brighton on Sunday after backing into an aerial challenge from Adam Lallana on the edge of the penalty box.
On Match of the Day 2, Martin Keown said: ‘He looks at his opponent, knows what he’s going to do and makes a back for him. I think it’s dangerous play from Harry Kane… I don’t even think it’s a penalty.’
Keown’s BBC colleague Gary Lineker supported the theory on Twitter, saying Kane ‘bought that one’.
When Mourinho arrived at Tottenham last year, he demanded more nastiness and ruthlessness from his players. He wanted them to be cleverer when it came to winning games.
Kane scored from the penalty spot and Gareth Bale also scored to give Spurs the three points
In the Amazon series All or Nothing, screened this year, he told them to be ‘an intelligent bunch of c****’.
‘I never spoke about penalties,’ he said yesterday.(WED) ‘That’s not part of the things we want to improve.
‘Harry Kane is there to score goals. He just wants to control the ball. He sees the ball in the air, he uses his body to protect and Lallana was reckless. He made a mistake, period.
‘It is a foul, direct free-kick or penalty. It’s for the VAR to decide. The referee decided direct free-kick but the VAR decided it was inside because it was on the line. It is not about being clever or not clever.’
Instead, Mourinho offered another example of the way his players were learning to close out games and win when they might not have won in the past, such as resisting the aerial threat of Brighton centre-half Dan Burn.
Jose Mourinho launched a staunch defence of his star man and told the media to look at rivals
Mohamed Salah (right) also won a controversial penalty in Liverpool’s win over West Ham
‘I’m speaking about something that could have a direct impact on the result,’ he said. ‘I’m speaking about Brighton playing Dan Burn as a striker for the last 10 minutes.
‘Against Newcastle we let Andy Carroll get in our box and he provokes a penalty in the last minute. Against West Ham we let them do the same and have free-kicks against us.
‘Against Burnley, we didn’t let [Chris] Wood put a foot in box in our box, against Brighton we didn’t let Dan Burn put a foot in our box. That’s what I mean.’
Kane, rested for the first two Europa League group games, could start in Bulgaria with Mourinho promising to be on ‘full power’ after defeat last week in Antwerp.
Sergio Reguilon will not travel with Spurs for their Europa League game away at Ludogorets
‘Maybe in Antwerp we didn’t feel the pressure of the knock-outs,’ he said. ‘Maybe we felt the group phase was a different thing, which is true. We were waiting for the victory to find us and not us to find the victory.
‘This is not knock-out but, because of the defeat, the game becomes more important to win or get a point. It’s important the players understand the match has to be different from Antwerp. And for myself I have to motivate them in a different way.’
Tottenham will be without Sergio Reguilon who is ill and Erik Lamela who will not play until after the international break as he rests what Mourinho described as ‘a little problem’. Serge Aurier is also out.