Premier League

Ndombele denies suggestions Mourinho motivated him with criticism

The Frenchman came under fire for his performances last season from his manager, but has since found some good form

2:33pm on Thursday 29th October 2020
Martin Macdonald

Tanguy Ndombele says he was not impacted or motivated to improve by Jose Mourinho's criticism of his performances in 2019/20.

Ndombele arrived at Spurs as a club record signing from Lyon under Mauricio Pochettino last summer, but failed to live up to the price tag in his first year, and failed to find any form under the Argentina or indeed Mourinho after he was appointed,

Following a particularly poor outing against Burnley, Ndombele was singled out for harsh words by his manager, while he was left out of the team for the last three matches of the campaign.


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Speculation mounted that Mourinho didn't particularly fancy the Frenchman, but he stayed in London and has displayed a drastic improvement in performance so far in the 2020/21 season.

There have been many suggestions that it was Mourinho's criticism which catalysed improved performances from Ndombele, but the player disputes this.

"His words didn't hurt me," Ndombele told Sky Sports after Spurs defeated Burnley 1-0 on Monday.

"They didn't necessarily motivate me either.

"It was just something that I assimilated and took on board. Of course it's not something that you like to hear, those sort of words, but that was last season and we are looking to the future."

Ndombele reckons that his positive outings this season have came from regular playing time, while last season he took time to adapt from Ligue 1.

"I feel better," he added.

"That comes from playing consecutive matches. it's good for a player to have a good rhythm like that and get into shape.

"Last year I didn't have that so much. This year I do so it's better for the team and it's better for me.

"Between France and England there's a real difference in the intensity of the matches. Last season my head just wasn't in the right place. This season it's going a lot better."

The 23-year-old has featured in every Tottenham Premier League game so far this season.

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