Jose Mourinho dismisses 'Spursy' talk, saying West Ham collapse was 'out of context' with their season

Matt Law
·4-min read
Jose Mourinho, Head Coach of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on October 15, 2020 in Enfield, England - Tottenham Hotspur FC 
Jose Mourinho, Head Coach of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on October 15, 2020 in Enfield, England - Tottenham Hotspur FC

It has become a rite of passage for every Tottenham Hotspur manager, at some stage, to face the ‘Spursy’ question.

Following the surrender of a three-goal lead against West Ham United and ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League tie against Austrian side Lask, this was Jose Mourinho’s time.

Mourinho did not need or want a definition of what ‘Spursy’ means but, for the uninitiated, the term has a place on urbandictionary.com with the description reading ‘to consistently and inevitably fail to live up to expectations. To bottle it’.

The way in which Tottenham grasped a draw from the clutches of victory on Sunday could certainly have been described as ‘Spursy’ and the club’s recent history is littered with instances of different teams failing to get over the line.

Mourinho, by contrast, has built his reputation on being a winner and on Wednesday morning took to Instagram to remind people that he has entered the Europa League on two previous occasions, with Porto and Manchester United, and won the tournament both times.

Which raised the question regarding how he intends to drag Tottenham over the line with him in his third shot at the Europa League and finally rid the club of their ‘Spursy’ reputation.

“That denomination [Spursy] is not important for me,” said Mourinho. “The past is not important for me. The future is, of course, important for me and we’re a team in evolution. 

“I believe that nobody has played better than us with the ball, which is a big evolution from us last season. We are very exciting to watch, I believe, and that is very important. That’s the DNA we want to have. 

“Is that enough to win football matches? No and you have the proof – we have only eight points when we played so amazing in every match apart from against Everton. Southampton, Man United, Newcastle, West Ham – we played amazing football and this is very difficult to do. We are doing that, but, of course, we need to play for a result and we have to learn how to do it.”

Mourinho questioned his team's mental strength after they failed to hold on to their lead against West Ham, but the Portuguese insisted the collapse was a freak occurrence rather than an issue they need to be concerned about moving forwards.

“To be honest what happened is a little bit out of context of what happened this season because against Southampton we were losing and were strong enough to change the result, against Man United the worst thing happened to us which was after one minute we were losing and we were strong enough to change that result,” said Mourinho. 

Sports Briefing
Sports Briefing

“Against Newcastle we were solid, playing amazing and then what happened is one of the beauties of the Var decision. So this game was completely out of context. I believe winning 3-0 minute 80, we can play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again. So I don’t want to be stuck on this or no stories about ‘Spursy’ or this kind of thing. 

“We have just to defend set pieces better because the team – even defensively – is playing very well. We have conceded one single goal from open play against Southampton. Apart from that, penalties, lateral free-kicks, VAR goals and we are quite solid.”

Gareth Bale is in line to make his first Tottenham start since his return to the club, having made a substitutes’ appearance at the weekend in which he created and missed a great chance to finish West Ham off.

Mourinho warned Spurs fans they will not see the same Bale who left the club for Real Madrid seven years ago, saying: “No player is the same with such a gap in time, 2013 to 2020, we're talking about seven years. We're not speaking about seven months. It's not Gareth Bale, it's every player in the world.

“Seven years, the players they change. Sometimes it's not about changing for better or worse. It's about change. Just an evolution in their qualities, their style of play. Sometimes it's even in the positions they play. So, of course, it's not the same player, it's just a different player.”