Why Jose Mourinho’s Dressing Down of Players Needs to Stop

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Jose Mourinho’s dressing down of players in public needs to stop. When players make mistakes, they are always going to be heavily scrutinised in the media, but what they do not need is for their manager to hang them out to dry in public.

Jose Mourinho’s Dressing Down of Players in Public is Unsavoury and Unnecessary

Dele Alli Publicly Criticised by Manager

Dele Alli has struggled to get playing time under Jose Mourinho this season despite being a player who seemed to take to the Portuguese managers’ appointment over a year ago. In the Amazon Prime documentary series, ‘All or Nothing’, Mourinho was seen to tell Alli that he was lazy. At the time, it was seen as a bit of a joke but it appears now that Alli has done little to impress the Tottenham Hotspur manager.

The Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Stoke City was Alli’s first start for Spurs since November 26. He worked hard, was happy to try shots from distance and played some nice football between the midfield and the attack. He then tried a cheeky flick in the second half that didn’t come off and ultimately led to Stoke City’s equaliser. Spurs still won the game comfortably but Mourinho’s criticism of Alli was harsh.

What Jose Mourinho Said About Dele Alli

Mourinho told BBC Sport: “A player in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team.”

Despite Mourinho’s comments, he failed to mention that other players did not track back or get in a tackle to stop the goal. Matt Doherty was woefully out of position for the goal yet he was not mentioned, and nor should he have been. The point is that Mourinho appears to have an agenda against certain players and feels the need to air that in public and it is unsavoury and unnecessary. It feels as if Mourinho needs to make comments to assert his authority yet he should be doing that in the dressing room and not in front of the cameras.

Luke Shaw

Mourinho was very vocal in public about Luke Shaw when he was the manager at Manchester United. Shaw struggled with fitness and form but was not helped by another Mourinho dressing down:

“He [Shaw] was in front of me and I was making every decision for him. He has to change his football brain,” Mourinho said. “We need his fantastic physical and technical qualities, but he cannot continue to play with my brain.”

The manager can get these messages through to his players behind closed doors. There is no need to do it so publicly in a way that comes across as being done simply to massage his ego.

Chelsea Stars

In the 2015/16 season, Mourinho’s Chelsea had a poor start to the season and the manager was frustrated with his players’ effort and said he was being ‘betrayed’ by his players. He was sacked just two days after that comment. There is a sense that being public in his comments that he may spark players into life yet it seems to achieve the opposite reaction in general.

Tanguy N’Dombele: The Exception to the Rule

For Tanguy N’Dombele, the Mourinho tough love approach is one example where his style seems to have worked. The player, Tottenham’s most expensive signing, was mercilessly criticised after the away game in the 2019/20 season at Burnley where he was hauled off at half time.

After the game, Mourinho told ESPN: “I cannot keep giving him opportunities to play because the team is more important than the players.”

Since that outburst, N’Domeble has worked hard on his fitness and has been a key player in Spurs’ strong start to this season, despite Spurs dropping points in recent matches.

Jose Mourinho’s Dressing Down of Players Needs to End

Every manager of every football club is within their rights to be unhappy with players but that criticism and feedback should be given in the dressing room or behind closed doors, not in front of the world. In any job, whether it be on a football field or an office, the majority of people will not respond well to being embarrassed and dressed down in a public manner. It smacks of a manager who is more interested in their own image than improving players and getting the team to improve.

Jose Mourinho’s success as a manager is not in question but at times his public outbursts need to be scrutinised. Dele Alli was singled out for one mistake which, considering he had been playing well and has had little match time, was bizarre. It was a moment when Mourinho decided that he would belittle and embarrass one of his players just because he could.

Maybe a deal is already done for Dele Alli to leave Tottenham in the January transfer window, on loan or even on a permanent move away. Alli is talented and has shown signs in recent cameo appearances that with a consistent run he can get back to his very best. It is also worth pointing out that Spurs have been struggling to be creative in midfield in recent matches, which is something Alli can bring to the side so ousting him would seem a strange thing to do.

Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors and that is how it should be. If Dele Alli leaves Tottenham then it may well be because he needs to feel appreciated. Maybe he doesn’t need to be criticised at every single turn.

Dele Alli should expect better and so should every player who plays under any manager. It is now high time that Jose Mourinho’s dressing down of players in public stopped because it is not showing strength but rather a desire to be seen as the one in control in front of the press. At times that can be box office but at others, it comes across as the behaviour you would see in a school playground.

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