For Jose Mourinho, the challenge of Tottenham’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig falls somewhere between Rocky Balboa and Mission: Impossible tonight.
“You know, I like analogies,” the Spurs manager began. “Sometimes I do good, sometimes I do fools.”
He considered the injury to Son Heung-min, who sustained a broken arm in Aston Villa on Sunday and is excluded.
Jose Mourinho produced another bizarre analogy when discussing the Tottenham peak crisis
“When I arrived, we were on the 12th floor,” Mourinho said. “We went up the stairs and started climbing.
“But they broke right at the start of the stairs. So we were in trouble and we found a way to try to get up.
“We found a way, we started climbing … a lot of work, a lot of effort … and when we arrived on the fourth floor, where we wanted to arrive, someone came up the stairs. So now we are in trouble.
“Now we are with our arms on the balcony on the fourth floor and now we have two options: one is to give up and fall and normally die because it is the fourth floor.
“Another way is to fight with what we have – not stairs, but poor. We’re going to fight everything on that balcony. “
Tottenham ahead Son Heung-min is undergoing surgery on a broken arm on Sunday
And so it went on.
Movable things, but neither the smile nor the crazy metaphors could mask Mourinho’s frustration. And no wonder.
The news that Son could miss the rest of the season makes the misery of Spurs even greater after the serious hamstring injury of Harry Kane.
Together Son and Kane have scored 33 goals this season.
Among the supporting acts, Dele Alli is the most productive, with eight.
Harry Kane injured his hamstring on New Year’s Day against Southampton and is out until April
So on the way to this first leg, Mourinho’s forecast was strong: “No strikers, no market, no players, nothing.”
Midfielder Harry Winks said: “It is a huge blow to us. Son is a top player and in such a good shape. He brings more than just his goals. “
Against Villa on Sunday, it seems that Son played with a broken arm for most of the game, but still found a final sob winner, his second goal in the 3-2 win.
The injury to Son now means that the Mourinho team is worn out for the rest of the campaign
THE ANALOGY HISTORY OF JOSE MOURINHO
2006 – ‘Pressure? There is no pressure. Bird flu is busy. You laugh, but I mean it. I am more concerned about the swan than about football. “
2007 “It’s like having a blanket that is too small for the bed,” he said. ‘You pull the blanket up to keep your chest warm and stick your feet out.
‘I can’t buy a larger blanket because the supermarket is closed. But I am satisfied because the blanket is cashmere. It is no ordinary blanket. ”
2010 – “Look, I’m a coach. I’m not a Harry Potter. He is magic, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real. “
2020 – ‘When we arrived, we were on the minus 12th floor, we went up the stairs and started climbing. But right from the start the stairs broke so that we were in trouble and we found a way to try to get up.
“We have found a way, with a lot of work and a lot of effort, and we started to go and go, and when we arrived on the fourth floor, where we wanted to arrive, someone came down the stairs.
“So we’re in trouble now. Now we have two options. One is to give up and we will fall and die normally – because it is the fourth floor.
“Another way is to fight with what we have, not stairs but poor. So we’re going to fight on that balcony with everything we have. “
Mourinho said: “The only help we can have now, especially playing at home, is our audience. I cannot ask for more than what the players give. They have to deal with this mental situation of losing Sonny after losing Harry a few months ago. I never ask anything from our supporters. I ask this time, maybe they want to give me what I ask. I believe so, because the players deserve it. “
Winks has been with Spurs for much longer than Mourinho, but even he has never known anything like that injured. “In recent years we have always found ways to achieve results,” he said. “I’m sure this game won’t be any different.”
Certainly, during last year’s race to the Champions League final, Spurs climbed the mountain time and time again – against Barcelona, against Manchester City and then at Ajax.
“There is no reason why it should be different this season,” Winks said. “We have the mental strength and we have the experience now.”
They haven’t done badly so far without Kane and are unbeaten in their last seven games. “That’s about work, the mentality of players, but the situation can’t be worse in terms of options,” said Mourinho. “That is a very, very, very obvious situation. You can’t do anything.
“It is very, very unfair – if you want to say – for the players after working so hard because they have won the 11 points to fourth position in the Premier League.
“When we arrived full of hope right now, very excited … and the bad news yesterday – the first was to break our hearts and the second was to break our team. But we have to recover from broken hearts and we have to fight.
“Let’s go with a smile, let’s get strong. I’m not going to give up and opponents probably think, “Wow, now it’s time to kill them.”
“I understand why they think so, but we’re going to give everything and I don’t think it will be easy for Leipzig to play against us.”
And he added, thinking ahead to Saturday: “I don’t think it will be easy for Chelsea to play against us.”
The improvised side of Spurs will cut their work away, remember. Despite everything that Leipzig lacks in European descent, they are doing well in ambition and quality. Only Bayern represents them in the Bundesliga.
Mourinho compared Chelsea’s injury crisis in 2007 with the possession of a too small blanket
“To be second, one point behind and to fight for the title, I think that says a lot,” said Mourinho.
The rescue for Spurs is that Leipzig is also hit by injuries and suspensions. Their young coach, Julian Nagelsmann, must solve his own problems. But there is a reason that he was also a candidate to replace Mauricio Pochettino.
Does Jose have anything to prove? ‘Prove? After 20 years of career and 25 titles? ‟He grinned.
He can simply concentrate on holding onto that balcony.