Tanguy Ndombele was right.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho appeared to suggest, after the fact, that the France international told him that he was unable to play against Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day.
He was subsequently left out, with the Portuguese claiming that the midfielder was worried about the prospect of picking up an injury.
Ndombele then played 90 minutes against Norwich City and also started against Southampton on New Year’s Day. Spurs lost at St Mary’s, with the 23-year-old injured after just 25 minutes.
He was substituted and appeared to be complaining of a muscle problem.
Giovani Lo Celso replaced him but Spurs then appeared rudderless in midfield as the Saints took all three points.
It ultimately leaves egg on the face of his manager.
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Ndombele clearly knows his body better than anybody else, even those within the Spurs medical staff.
That he was injured here was perhaps inevitable after Mourinho went public but the ex-Inter Milan boss shouldn’t have been so blasé about keeping the Frenchman in the team.
Two games in four days require clever management and smart team selections. Mourinho has been adept at neither.
His insistence on making an example of Ndombele has led to an injury and an anxious wait to see how long he is set to be out for.
Whatever the answer, one has to feel that the Portuguese is at fault.
He should have listened to Ndombele when he had the chance but, instead, he has run him into the ground and he is now on the treatment table.
Quite simply, Mourinho has reaped what he sowed.
Meanwhile, take a look at one of Spurs’ January targets!