Jose Mourinho has said it was “an obvious decision” to take Tanguy Ndombele off at half-time as Tottenham fell to a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.
A Jamie Vardy penalty right at the end of the first-half put the visitors in front, provoking Mourinho into a half-time change – Gareth Bale replaced Ndombele.
But Bale barely affected the game and Spurs did not recover, conceding a Toby Alderweireld own goal midway through the second half and failing to convert their own chances.
Ndombele was quiet in the opening 45 minutes but he had some clever touches and was arguably unfortunate to be hooked.
That wasn’t how Mourinho saw it, though.
Speaking to Spurs TV after the game, the Tottenham manager said: “The decision to take Tanguy out at half-time was an obvious decision, but then we need Gio [Lo Celso] in that position there to give dynamic to the game of the team, and we lose Gio.”
It was certainly bad luck that Lo Celso was injured so soon after Ndombele went off – Tottenham lack any drive from midfield without one of that duo.
But many will remain mystified as to why Mourinho thought Ndombele was the “obvious” candidate to be replaced at the break.
Unless he had a knock – and he was kicked on the ankle early on – then Mourinho’s comments certainly strike us as strange.