Joe Cole gives Tanguy Ndombele advice on how to react to Jose Mourinho criticism

Joe Cole knows what it is like to receive a public dressing down from Jose Mourinho and has urged Tanguy Ndombele to react to his in the right way.

Mourinho called out Tottenham’s record signing after a 1-1 draw at Burnley on March 7, saying the midfielder “has to give us more than he is giving us”.

The Portuguese felt he had reached breaking point with Ndombele, who has failed to deliver in his first season since a £63million summer move from Lyon.

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The Frenchman has battled niggling fitness issues throughout the campaign, leading to Mourinho saying he is “always injured”, and when he has been fit there have been times that his work-rate has been questioned.

Cole has been on the end of similar treatment from Mourinho as he was singled out for criticism when at Chelsea, first over his lack of desire to defend and then over showboating.

The former England international says Ndombele has to take the criticism on the chin and provide the right response.

“When it happened to me it was not a problem,” Cole told the PA news agency.

Spurs' club-record signing was substituted at half-time of the 1-1 draw at Burnley

Spurs’ club-record signing was substituted at half-time of the 1-1 draw at Burnley (John Walton/PA)

“It is a grown up’s sport. If you don’t play well or you don’t do what you are supposed to do, whether you expect to get criticised publicly or not, you need to be tough, you need to understand the nature of the beast.

“He is a young man, the right response is to knuckle down and perform.

“I saw the performance in question and if he was one of my players that would have been my stance on it.

“Whether or not I did it publicly, that is always the discussion to have with your coaching staff, what’s the benefit?

“For the young lad, this is football, it can be a tough, brutal sport at time. You’re in the limelight, but we are very lucky to do what we have to do so you have to take the rough with the smooth.”

Cole, who enjoyed plenty of success under Mourinho, says his former boss will have made a judgement on whether to criticise Ndombele publicly was the right thing to do.

“Jose will know what he is doing, he will know what the lad’s character is,” Cole added. “He will expect the lad to react, turn his time at Tottenham around, kick-start his career or he will expect for the lad to move on.

“It will be nothing personal but certain jobs have to be done on the pitch. Hopefully the lad can do that.

Joe Cole was on the receiving end of some public dressing downs from Mourinho

Joe Cole was on the receiving end of some public dressing downs from Mourinho (Gareth Copley/PA)

“At times that treatment worked on me. He gets the best out of a lot of players, that is why he has won multiple trophies at multiple clubs across Europe.

“He knows about managing people. He knows when to whip the horse and when to not and that is management.”

Mourinho has endured a tough time at Tottenham, having taken over from Mauricio Pochettino in November.

The Portuguese is already taking flak for the way things are going, despite circumstances conspiring against him.

Cole reckons people are too quick to criticise Mourinho nowadays and reckons that he will turn Spurs around once the action resumes.

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“Jose has gone into a difficult situation,” Cole said. “In the media in particular there is a lot of anti-Jose, people who are very quick to jump on Jose’s back, especially for someone who has been as successful as him.

“You need to look at the job in perspective, I think it had run its course under Pochettino. I think the team wasn’t playing well, it needed a change.

“But it’s like turning a cruise ship, you can’t just turn it on a sixpence, it takes time. He needs time, he needs to bring the right players in.

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“I think the relationship with Daniel Levy is important, if Levy gets him the players he wants and gives him time I think it will be a success for him.

“It’s just how every time Spurs lose a game… Spurs were losing games under Pochettino, players weren’t playing well.

“I think some of the players may have run their course at Tottenham. They are all great players but sometimes your time is up. They are in a rebuild situation.”

:: Joe Cole is a Football Analyst for BT Sport and can also be found trying his hand at acting in BT TV’s behind the scenes video to celebrate its new range of flexible TV packages, for more information customers can visit

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