After pundit Paul Merson claimed Harry Kane would struggle under Portuguese management, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho delivered an extraordinary four-minute response detailing his record of working with top strikers.
Kane was kept quiet in his first outing since tearing his hamstring on New Year’s Day as Spurs resumed their Premier League season with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Friday.
The England captain completed 90 minutes but only recorded one shot – a blocked free-kick – prompting Merson to tell Sky Sports that Kane should give ‘serious thought’ to his future at the end of the campaign. Because they are unlikely to succeed. In the team led by Mourinho.
Paul Merson’s comments apparently touched a nerve with Jose Mourinho/Michael Steele/Getty Images
Ahead of Tottenham’s next match against West Ham on Tuesday evening, Mourinho defended his record of getting the best out of his main men and strikers.
“I feel a little strange. [about] Some analysis and some comments,” Mourinho told his virtual press conference via the Evening Standard.
“Especially because it seems to me that some of the comments and reviews started, they started with Paul. I have to say that I respect a lot of people like him and because I respect so much, I answer my questions. I want to be good.
“In our case, Harry didn’t play a game for six months. The record of the goals Harry has scored with me is easy for you, you just go to your data and it’s easy to see how many matches Harry has played with me. played and how many goals did he score?”
Harry Kane didn’t have a single shot on target in the game against Man Utd / Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
Reading from a prepared piece of paper, Mourinho then listed the average goals per season for Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Didier Drogba – including some miscalculations.
She continued: “I had a boy. [Ronaldo] Who is not bad. Now plays for Juventus. He played three seasons for me. He scored 168 goals which is an average of 56 per season.”
“I had another guy who’s not bad, called Karim Benzema. He played for me for three seasons. He wasn’t always starting because he was quite young at the time. He played for me. Scored 78 goals in three seasons, scoring 26. Goals per season average”
Both Benzema and Ronaldo were under Mourinho for Real Madrid / Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
Mourinho also recorded the goalscoring records of Diego Milito and Zlatan Ibrahimovic under his charge before concluding with some carefully worded advice for Merson.
“So, dear Paul, I have a lot of respect for you. I think Harry Kane has no problem scoring goals in his teams, especially when they are fit, fresh and playing regularly. I have a lot of respect.”