Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara has hit back at Tony Cascarino, who was critical of Jose Mourinho following a 1-0 defeat against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.
Speaking on the White and Sawyer show on talkSPORT, the 57-year-old suggested that Mourinho offered “very little in tactics” against the Bundesliga club and that he has been “left behind” in the world of management.
However, this is a view that isn’t shared by O’Hara who has insisted that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is still one oft he best in the business.
When talking about Cascarino’s comments on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT, the ex-Wolves midfielder said: “I think it’s disrespectful to be honest, I think that’s bad shout. To call him ‘yesterday’s man’ is complete nonsense. It’s not even about having my manager’s hat on, I think it’s out of order.
“Tottenham just beat Man City with a tactical way of playing, and at the end of the day Spurs have got their two best players out, the two players who get up the pitch and make things happen.
“You take those players out of any team in the Premier League, they would struggle, and he’s had to adapt.”
O’Hara certainly has a point here, Cascarino’s comments about Mourinho were very harsh and he is one of the most decorated managers in the world, having won trophies with Manchester United as recently as 2017.
Whilst his Spurs team didn’t play well against RB Leipzig, as O’Hara says it must be taken into account that he was without his two star forwards with both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who have scored 33 goals between them this season (Transfermarkt), out injured.
Added to that, Tottenham have actually significantly improved their results this season since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout.
They were languishing in 14th place when the Portuguese took over, some 11 points adrift of the top four (Evening Standard). A few months later, they sit in fifth place and just a single point behind fourth-placed Chelsea (BBC Sport), who they take on in their next game.
That is pretty impressive when you consider that he has been without Kane and Moussa Sissoko since New Year’s Day, he had to sell Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan (BBC Sport) and the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela have been in and out of the team through injury.
If he can do that with a patched-up team that isn’t his own, there’s surely a chance he could achieve plenty more after a full pre-season and summer transfer window where he can really begin shaping his team and show that he remains an elite-level manager.
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