José Mourinho was critical of his Tottenham team after they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Everton, describing their pressing as lazy and complaining about the overall lack of intensity – particularly after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s decisive goal on 55 minutes. He also called into question the mentality of his players, saying some had “a wrong state of mind”.
“I didn’t like my team,” the Spurs manager said. “In the second half after their goal we were poor and in my opinion we were not physically strong, no intensity. The team lacks in this moment many players’ physical condition.
“The struggle started in the way we pressed – or I would say in the way we didn’t press because our pressure up front was very, very poor. I would say it was lazy pressure and when you have lazy pressure you don’t press and you let opponents build from the back. When you let almost any team in the Premier League play from the back, they are comfortable to have the ball.
“Lazy pressure up front, that creates an unbalanced situation for the rest of the team. It disappoints me and that is where I now have to work.”
Mourinho detailed the problems he has had with the unusual pre-season, citing positive Covid tests and quarantine issues; he did not name the players who tested positive. He also complained about the timing of the international break, saying his new signing Matt Doherty had gone directly from holiday to play for the Republic of Ireland.
“He is normally in incredible condition,” Mourinho said. “Today he was not Matt Doherty like he normally is. I couldn’t expect them to be sharp, intense, agile but I was expecting much more individually and collectively.”
Mourinho – who did not rule out a move for the striker Alexander Sørloth, on loan at Trabzonspor from Crystal Palace – was unhappy that Lucas Digne took the free-kick for Calvert-Lewin’s goal from the wrong position, giving him a better angle.
“It’s not an excuse for not a good performance but, with so many referees on the pitch and even on the side, I find it incredible that the free-kick was taken five or six metres in front,” Mourinho said.
Carlo Ancelotti, the Everton manager, described his team’s performance as “brilliant”, adding: “We showed we could compete and this is the most important message we had from this game. If the spirit and attitude is good, we can compete with anybody.”