Jose Mourinho says he is yet to decide whether Tanguy Ndombele will start for Tottenham against Newcastle United on Sunday despite the midfielder’s recent improvement.

Ndombele completed 90 minutes for the first time on Thursday and was named man of the match as Spurs beat FK Shkendija 3-1 in another edgy Europa League qualifier.

The Frenchman also impressed in last weekend’s 5-2 victory at Southampton but was substituted at half-time – partly for fitness reasons, and partly because he was on a yellow card.

But after he proved he can last a full game in midweek, many Tottenham fans will be expecting Ndombele to start against Newcastle.

However, when asked if the 23-year-old will feature from the beginning this weekend, Mourinho suggested the intensity could be too much for Ndombele.

“Let’s wait and see, Premier League matches are much more difficult matches than this one [against Shkendija],” Mourinho said (via the London Evening Standard).

“The intensity is completely different, the quality of the opponent is much better. But against Southampton, even for 45 minutes, he had positive things.”

It’s perhaps a surprise that Mourinho is unable to commit to handing Ndombele a starting spot, especially as dropping the former Lyon star could come as a blow to his confidence.

But Mourinho did say he is “very happy” with Ndombele, adding: “Tanguy, step by step, is doing very well.”

We think Ndombele should start against Newcastle, even if he can only last an hour. Let us know if you think he should start in the comments section below.



  1. I think he should start. At his best I think he’ll be one the first names on the teamsheet and i’m glad Jose is starting to recognise his quality as I was starting to fear the worst. As his confidence increases so his performances will improve and we’ll start to see what he’s capable of. I think we have a really good player on our hands and at only 23 years old there’s still a lot to come.

  2. I think Tanguy’s fitness is monitored very closely, as indeed are all the players. If there is still work to do to add to a player’s fitness believe me, Mourinho knows it best. Besides as anyone knows when you get fit in a short amount of time, it is very sapping for the muscles, meaning you can be prone to pulls and strains. Ndombele will have the whole season to play, let’s not worry about every minute in one or two games. I’m looking at the bigger picture.

    • You play the best player at 90% and look to get that edge. He controls the pace of the game rather than going in especially if we are down. Rotation means you start him and keep him 60 to 70 minutes watch.


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