Tottenham Hotspur boss José Mourinho is facing a 'dressing room backlash' after he openly criticised his squad's 'lazy' display in the defeat to Everton on Sunday.
Spurs were hugely underwhelming in their opening 2020/21 Premier League fixture as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Carlo Ancelotti's men. The Toffees were indeed the better side throughout the game, particularly dominating in the centre of the park.
After the game, a clearly far from pleased Mourinho claimed his side were lazy in the way they pressed the ball, allowing their opponents to simply play through them time and time again. His comments, however, haven't gone down well in the Tottenham dressing room it seems.
The Mirror report that some players feel his criticism is 'unfair' and are 'annoyed' by his claims as they consider them an attempt to once again divert the blame away from himself.
Mourinho himself has alluded to the fact that Spurs have been badly impacted in their preparations for the 2020/21 season due to a limited pre-season and the need for players to self-isolate due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This isn't the first time Mourinho has been critical of his players, but considering the number of factors in play, as well as the fact it was only the first game of the season, his comments did come as quite a surprise.
After the game, left-back Ben Davies was questioned on Mourinho's 'lazy' comment, but the Welshman was keen to stress that the underwhelming display could not be put down to a lack of effort.
He said, as quoted by football.london: "Look it's a tough one, I think everyone worked hard. Personally I gave my all, I wouldn't doubt everybody else in the team gave it their all. It's hard to put it down to a lack of effort. Sometimes you have off days. But I'm sure in the next few days we'll look at it and evaluate it going forward."
The growing discontent will be a major concern for everyone involved with the club, as will the level of performance shown against Everton. However, with Spurs getting their Europa League campaign underway on Thursday, Mourinho will be looking to settle the feud and get his players focused at the start of a hectic run of fixtures.