José Mourinho has caused the excitement of The Premier League match day. The Tottenham Hotspur manager on Wednesday night called the opposing goalkeeping coach an “idiot.”
In the closing stages of his Spurs’ game at underdogs Southampton, Mourinho left his own coaching zone at 0-1 and marched over to the opposing bench. There he bent over the seated Andrew Sparkes, who was just taking a note. Mourinho seemed to whisper something in his ear. According to the AP news agency, the dispute over the issue of time play is said to have been at stake.
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Mourinho, referee Mike Dean and Southampton head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl (r)
Referee Mike Dean showed the Portuguese a yellow card shortly afterwards. Asked about the scene, Mourinho said after the game: “I think the yellow card is fine. I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot.”
Tottenham lost the game 0-1, but for Mourinho, who started at Spurs in November, it was the fourth defeat in the 11th leg. In the table, his team is six points behind the Champions League places. Southampton improved from 15th to 12th place.
Southampton’s head coach, former Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl, was diplomatic. “I don’t want to say anything about it,” he said. ‘I have a very high opinion of this coach, he’s done so much for football.’
Such failures have in Mourinho’s system. The 56-year-old has often tried to draw attention to himself in his career after defeats by his own team – often in the form of derbeder-criticised referees. When his plan comes to an end, fans and the media will then deal with Mourinho’s sayings rather than the team’s performance. The players can work in peace. That may have been Mourinho’s intention this time.