Tanguy Ndombele Opens Up About Previous Jose Mourinho Criticism

Oct 28, 2020, 10:15 AM GMT
Tanguy Ndombele has featured in all six of Tottenham's Premier League games this season
Tanguy Ndombele has featured in all six of Tottenham's Premier League games this season | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Tanguy Ndombele has opened up on the criticism he received from Jose Mourinho last season after breaking back into the Tottenham set-up, claiming he wasn't fazed by the public scolding.

Ndombele was a £54m signing from Lyon in the summer of 2019 under Mauricio Pochettino and started the season well, scoring on his debut. After Pochettino was sacked and Jose Mourinho took over in November, he fell down the pecking order with the Portuguese coach publicly criticising his performances.

The France international was linked with a move away from the club in the summer due to the fractious relationship with his manager, but has since had a U-turn in fortunes and is now among the first names on the team sheet.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ndombele spoke about the criticism and how it affected him.

He revealed: "His words didn't hurt me. They did't necessarily motivate me either. It was just something that I assimilated and took on board. Of course it's not something that you like to hear, those sort of words, but that was last season and we are looking to the future."

Ndombele on the bench at RB Leipzig last season
Ndombele on the bench at RB Leipzig last season | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Mourinho had previously criticised his fitness and work rate in training and games and Ndombele barely featured post-lockdown for Spurs. He has played in all six Premier League games so far this season though.

He added: "I feel better. That comes from playing consecutive matches. It's good for a player to have a good rhythm like that and get into shape. Last year I didn't have that. This year I do so it's better for the team and better for me.

"I don't think we have seen the best of Tanguy Ndombele yet. I'm on the right track but there is still more to come."

Ndombele lasted 79 minutes in the 1-0 win over Burnley on Monday and claimed if Tottenham can continue their good form this season they shouldn't be ruled out of the title race, but insists it's too early in the season to talk about titles.

"Our objective has always been to get into the top four," he added. "More than that? Why not? But nobody wins the league in six matches. Even if we were top of the league at this stage there'd still be 32 matches to play."