It is of great importance in the modern game for managers to play a key role in signing players. When the boss in question is someone of the caliber and record of Jose Mourinho, it certainly makes saying ‘no’ to a move a much harder task.
However, amidst such interest, players might even lose focus in their duties at their present clubs. According to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, this was precisely the case with one of his important players.
Through Daily Mail, Pochettino blatantly accused Mourinho of ‘compromising’ Eric Dier. The fear in question arose last season itself, when the duo appeared to be friendly during the encounter which saw Tottenham lose 1-0 to the Portuguese’ side.
He went on to reveal: “I found out that United have made an approach and the player is being destabilized. His people have been putting pressure on him, although United are not promising anything.”
Recounting the encounter, he continued: “When Jose was done with the press, he stood by the entrance to the tunnel and regarded the returning players. He greeted Moussa Sissoko and hugged Dier. They passed by me en route to the dressing rooms, laughing, speaking in Portuguese.”
This incident alarmed the Spurs manager tremendously, who reckoned that it might be a ‘common Mourinho tactic’ and slammed the ex-Chelsea boss for it.
As for what he did following it: “He put Eric in a compromising position. You cannot do that after a defeat. I sat down with Eric after lunch on Monday and we chatted for four hours about the whole shebang: his agent, family, confusion. ‘As for the Mourinho incident, ‘What could I have done?’ Eric asked me. ‘He told me about United’s interest since last summer and I explained the situation to him clearly.”
The manager was resolute when he told Dier: “Look, you aren’t leaving because you signed a five-year deal with us in August. You’re among the highest-paid players at Tottenham at the age of 22. ‘You’re important to us and you could become the best center back in the Premier League.”
This certainly seems to have had the intended effect, if it was a ploy at all, and goes on to further heighten Mourinho’s reputation as a tactical genius both on and off the pitch.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.