Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has given his verdict on Tanguy Ndombele’s performance for Spurs on Thursday evening, in conversation with Football London.
The North Londoners headed to Premier League strugglers Bournemouth and put in a lacklustre, toothless display as they left the south coast with a point in a dour 0-0 draw.
Indeed, Spurs didn’t muster a single shot on target against the Cherries, who in turn were denied a late winner as Callum Wilson’s overhead kick was ruled out by the assistant referee.
Ndombele came on for Giovani Lo Celso at the break for only his second appearance since the restart, and instantly upped his side’s tempo with his first-time passing in the centre of the park.
Though the Frenchman’s introduction didn’t prove to be a game-changer, it was still a promising display from the Tottenham record signing.
Mourinho told Football London in his pre-match press conference ahead of the North London derby: “I had Giovani with a problem, he was kicked in the ankle. He was not feeling comfortable. He was also coming from 90 minutes very hard against Everton.
“The feeling was we are going to have the ball, going to have space to play, not space to penetrate but space to play, to have the ball and with the midfield players I had on the bench: Skipp, Gedson, the kid Harvey, Tanguy I felt he was the one with that talent to move the ball.
“I think he was the same level as the team, not better and not worse.”
Mourinho and Ndombele certainly appear to have had their differences in the past, from the manager publicly criticising the player after the Burnley draw, to the 23-year-old reportedly having told his boss in June that he’ll never play for him again (ESPN).
Indeed, the Bournemouth game looked like a perfect opportunity for Ndombele to start, but Mourinho persevered with him on the bench, although deeming him “the one with that talent to move the ball” suggests that the Portuguese hasn’t given up on his player just yet.