Football

Mourinho plays down Spurs expectations, questions Liverpool’s injury crisis

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho said he needs more time to build a team capable of challenging for the English Premier League title, comparing the exact number of days Juergen Klopp has been in charge of defending champions Liverpool to his own tenure.

League leaders Spurs are unbeaten in the competition this season since their defeat by Everton on the opening weekend and visit Liverpool on Wednesday (Dec 16) for a top-of-the-table clash at Anfield.

Klopp called Spurs a “results machine” in his pre-match news conference, but Mourinho is not getting carried away just yet.

“Results machine is what Liverpool have been for the past couple of years and what my Chelsea team were in the period we won the two consecutive titles,” Mourinho said.

“We’re a good team that work hard, but I would say Liverpool is the result of, if I’m not wrong, 1,894 days of work with Juergen. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong by a few days.

“We’re the result of work of 390 days, but these 390 days are fake. Because a lot of these days were not even days of work but of quarantine and days at home.”

Mourinho is also not buying that Liverpool are suffering an injury crisis, claiming Klopp is just contending with one massive loss with the long-term absence of centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

“I think Alisson is not injured. (Trent) Alexander-Arnold is not injured. (Joel) Matip, I believe that he’s going to play. Fabinho is not injured. (Andy) Robertson is not injured. (Jordan) Henderson is not injured. (Georginio) Wijnaldum is not injured. (Mohamed) Salah is not injured, (Roberto) Firmino is not injured, (Sadio) Mane is not injured,” Mourinho said.

“Van Dijk is injured and van Dijk is a very good player of course. But give me a Liverpool list of injuries and compare that list with what is the best Liverpool team.

“I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham. We have two kids of the Under-16s with injuries, we have two others in the Under-21s and two in the Under-23s, we have (Erik) Lamela and (Japhet) Tanganga. And here is a list of 10 players.

“But is (Hugo) Lloris injured? No. (Toby) Alderweireld injured? No. (Eric) Dier injured? No. (Sergio) Reguilon injured no? Harry Kane injured? No. Son (Heung-min) injured? No. Lucas (Moura) injured? No. So where are the injuries?

“Injuries are normal. James Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. You know. Every club has injuries now and again. Liverpool has a big injury which is van Dijk.”

Mourinho said forward Gareth Bale is unlikely to be fit for the Anfield trip, while defender Tanganga is out with a shoulder injury. – AFP, REUTERS

Footballeplenglish premier leaguetottenham hotspurJose Mourinholiverpooljuergen klopp