Premier League

Jose Mourinho defends striker record by listing the good ones he has managed

It had been suggested this week that Spurs striker Harry Kane might not flourish under his Portuguese coach

 
4:00pm on Monday 22nd June 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Jose Mourinho has defended his record with strikers after Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson claimed Harry Kane would be unhappy under the playing style of the current Tottenham boss.

After a six-month injury layoff, Kane returned to the starting XI for Spurs in the match against Manchester United on Friday, but only managed one shot on goal in 90 minutes and eventually earned a lowly 5.5 FootballCritic rating for his performance.

After the match, Merson questioned whether Kane would be happy playing under Mourinho’s notoriously conservative style, but the head coach himself has hit back by initially saying he was happy with his player’s outing considering he played the match when not fully fit, and that Kane’s record when fit under him was good.

"I feel a bit strange about some analysis and some comments. The beginning of some comments and analysis started from Paul [Merson]," said Mourinho.

"I have to say I respect people a lot like him and because I respect him a lot I want to be nice in my answer. I try to be nice and I try just to say something where people can think a little a bit.

"First of all, Harry played his first game for six months and if you watch the game and you analyse the game, compare Harry Kane with Anthony Martial.

"Was it a game of many chances? Was it a game where the two strikers had a lot of chances? Do you give credit to my defence for Martial's game? Do you give credit to United's defence and for the occasions we created or we didn't create? I think you have to look at it in a balanced approach.

"In our case, Harry doesn't play a game for six months. The record of goals that Harry has with me is easy for you. You just look go to your data and it is easy to see how many matches Harry played with me before his injury and how many goals he scored."

Then, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss listed the goalscoring exploits of some other players under his tutelage, including Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he references but does not name.

"I can say that I had a few strikers that played for me and they are not bad," he continued.

I had one guy called [Didier] Drogba. He played for me [over] four seasons. He scored 186 goals which gives an average of 46 goals per season (sic 187 games, 73 goals).

"I had one guy that is also not bad - he [Ronaldo] plays for Juventus now. He played for me [during] three seasons. He scored 168 goals, which gives an average of 56 goals per season.

"I had another guy who is not also bad called Karim Benzema. He played for me [during] three seasons. He was not always starting because he was quite young at that time. But he scored for me 78 goals in three season which gives a 26-goal average per season.

"I had another one called [Diego] Milito. He played one season for me [and] he scored 30 goals. He won three titles and of course the average is 30 [per season].

"I had another guy that played for me [over] one and a half seasons. I say one and half because in the other half he had a big injury. A tall guy called Zlatan [Ibrahimovic]. He played one and a half seasons. He scored 58 goals which gives a 29-goal average per season.”

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