Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho says only an “idiot” wouldn’t understand why Christian Eriksen was criticised after their 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
The 27-year-old Danish playmaker received a lukewarm response from supporters after he was taken off with 21 minutes of the game remaining.
Eriksen’s final season for Spurs? Five key things to know…
- Christian Eriksen spoke about leaving Spurs for pastures new last summer.
- He would remain at the club and has since been in and out of their team under Mauricio Pochettino and now Jose Mourinho.
- Eriksen has made 25 appearances in all competitions this season, registering three goals and three assists.
- His current deal at Spurs expires this summer meaning he is now free to speak to overseas clubs.
- Inter Milan have been strongly linked with signing the Danish playmaker this month.
Since taking charge, Mourinho has been reluctant to use Eriksen on the count of his current Spurs deal expiring in the summer.
Eriksen, who spoke of embarking on a new challenge just before this season got underway, has been strongly linked with a January move to Inter Milan.
It’s been a challenging campaign for the former Ajax academy graduate; across 25 outings in all competitions he’s scored three goals and created the same amount for his teammates.
The meeting with runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool was the third match Eriksen started under Mourinho, and though he created four goalscoring opportunities – more than any Spurs player – he wasn’t applauded off, which came as no surprise for Mourinho.
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“One thing is to not put in his best performance, that is Christian Eriksen and so many players around the world. For different reasons you have better seasons than others, better matches than others,” he told reporters.
“If you ask me if I think this is the best Christian Eriksen – I have to be honest and say no. If you ask me if I know the reasons – I’m not an idiot, I have been in football for many years. I know clearly that a player in this situation is not a player that – even if he wants, I am not blaming or criticising the player – it is normal that he doesn’t perform at the highest level.
Jose Mourinho understands criticism of Christian Eriksen
“I can also say that he is helping us in matches that he is playing. He had positives performances and contributions. If I remember the game against Olympiakos. He came in and gave us a lot, the same against Norwich.
“Our fans thought he didn’t have a great performance against Liverpool – I have to agree with that.”