Feisty Mourinho defends his attacking record
Jose Mourinho has launched an impassioned defence of his attacking record as a manager after Paul Merson said Harry Kane may never recapture his best scoring form under the Portuguese’s guidance. Kane returned after a major hamstring injury in Tottenham‘s 1-1 draw with Manchester United but struggled to impose himself upon the game. It was his first game since New Year’s Day, where he went off injured in a 1-0 defeat by Southampton.
Merson criticises Mourinho
Speaking the following day, Merson said it could be a sign of things to come for Kane due to Mourinho’s style of play and added that he thinks the England captain will be considering his Tottenham future. Kane had scored seven times in 11 games under Mourinho in all competitions before sustaining his injury.
Mourinho hits back
Mourinho hit back at Merson in an astonishing four-minute response on Monday with a barrage of statistics, referencing the records of previous strikers he has worked with such as Didier Drogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo – although he did read out incorrect stats in Drogba’s case, vastly inflating his goalscoring record at Chelsea.
‘I feel a bit strange about some comments, especially because it looks for me that the beginning of some comments and analysis started from Paul,’ said Mourinho.
‘I have to say I respect a lot, people like him. And because I respect a lot I want to be nice in my answer. I don’t think he is ready for a bad answer.
‘First of all Harry played his first game for six months and if you watch the game and analyse the game, compare Harry Kane with Anthony Martial.
‘It was not a game of many chances. Do you give credit to my defence for Martial’s game? Do you give credit to the United defence to the occasions we did create or didn’t create? I think you have to look at it in a balanced approach.
‘In our case Harry doesn’t play a game for six months. The record of goals that Harry has with me is easy for you, just go to your data and it is easy to see how many matches Harry played with me before his injury and how many goals he scored.’
Mourinho said: ‘I had one guy called Drogba. He played four seasons for me, he scored 186 goals, which gives an average of 46 goals per season.’
That, however, was not correct. Drogba scored 73 goals in 186 appearances under Mourinho. The figure of 186 mentioned suggests that Mourinho mixed up Drogba’s number of appearances with the number of goals he scored.
Then Mourinho moved on to Ronaldo, who he worked with at Real Madrid.
‘I have one guy that is not also bad. He plays for Juventus now. He played for me three seasons, he scored 168 goals, which gives an average of 56 goals per season.
‘I have another guy that is not also bad called Karim Benzema. He played for me three seasons, he was not always starting because he was quite young, but he scored for me 78 goals in three seasons, which gives a 26-goal average per season.
‘I had another one called (Diego) Milito. He played one season for me, he scored 30 goals, he won three titles. Of course the average is 30. I had another guy that plays for me one-a-half seasons, because in the other half he had a big injury.
Tall guy called Zlatan. He scored 58 goals, which gives a 29 average per season.
‘So, dear Paul, I have lots of respect for you, I think Harry Kane has no problems at all to score goals in my teams, especially when he is fit, when he has routines of playing. So that’s my message to somebody that I have lots of respect for.’
‘You are all free to have an opinion,’ said Mourinho. ‘I am free to disagree. I could be aggressive in my answer. I have been aggressive many, many times. I still can be.
‘I decided, because it is Paul and I have respect – and other things more than respect – to answer just with data. You have my answer.’