Toby Alderweireld credits Jose Mourinho with getting Spurs playing like adults
Toby Alderweireld reckons ‘in your face’ Jose Mourinho has turned Tottenham into grown-ups.
And the Belgian defender doesn’t care what the outside world think when it comes to the style of play Mourinho has introduced to such a good effect.
Because as long as they continue to get results then, for him and his team-mates, that is all that matters.
Alderweireld said: “Jose is exactly what I thought he would be.
“He’s a very honest person who says everything in your face.
“Even if it’s not nice, he will say it.
“That’s the way to go if you want to be a big team, if you want to get results. That’s the way he needs to be.
“We play in a very adult way, I would say.
“He doesn’t even get the recognition he deserves.
“I know he’s a very, very good manager — he’s one of the best, maybe the best, at getting results.
“That’s the most difficult thing in football, getting a result.
“You can play well but everybody wants to win.
“He has shown everywhere, in every competition, that he can and he did. You have to have a lot of respect for him.
“He’s obsessed by football, he’s obsessed by winning, but not only winning, also how we want to play as a team.”
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While Alderweireld doesn’t care what people think about Mourinho’s style, he does care what they say about footballers as individuals.
He added: “We know the way we work, we know what we are doing everyday to come in and do the things we do.
“So no, I really don’t care what people think on that matter but of course I care what people think about what kind of human being I am.
“People talk about mental health and people underestimate what kind of pressure footballers are under.
“Everyone, with social media these days, they have the opportunity to say whatever they want and it affects people.
“It is easy to say you don’t read those comments, but it is very difficult.
“The pressure is crazy. You can say, ‘You don’t have to play professional football’, but people have to think about what kind of pressure it gives players in their minds when they have a bad game or bad period.
“People who criticise don’t know what kind of period they are in, in their personal lives.
“Just because you are a professional footballer and make this kind of money, people think you have to accept everything and that is not the way to go, because the pressure — especially if you are at the top — is unbelievably big.
“We don’t get lessons from people saying to deal with it that way or like that.
“You start to learn and I am happy I am old enough to not read comments or be bothered about it at all.”
Alderweireld and Co are looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat by Liverpool with a win against top-four rivals Leicester today.
And while he knows he is in for a battle against Jamie Vardy, he isn’t focusing solely on one opponent.
Alderweireld said: “You can’t only focus on him because then you underestimate Leicester.
“They have a lot of qualities up front, not only him, so as a team we have to be ready for him and ready for all the attacking qualities they have.”