Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho will give his fringe players the chance to impress in their closing Champions League group stage game with Bayern Munich.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier have all been left at home for the dead rubber in Group B on Wednesday, where both teams have already qualified for the knockout stages.
A host of players who have yet to feature with any regularity will get the chance at the Allianz Arena and Mourinho has challenged them to make an impression.
🎙️ Jose: “We are going to focus more on us than on Bayern. We are going to try to develop our model of play, obviously with different players and bodies. That’s the way we’re going to approach the match." #UCL ⚪️ #COYSpic.twitter.com/bolEq0SY7p— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 10, 2019
“One thing that I am not having is time, when I say time, I mean to know all my players well,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity for some of them to play, for some of them to show what they are capable of.
“A player in competition is different to a player training, some of my boys didn’t have the chance to play many minutes in these five matches since I arrived.
“We try to mix a little bit these factors. We need to play for Tottenham, that is our responsibility but at the same time there are other things.
“We are going to have as you all know an incredible number of fixtures until the new year and I think it is understandable that we are going to make a few changes and we are going to rest a few players and give opportunities to other players.”
Bayern are confirmed as group winners, having won their first five games, including a 7-2 hammering of Spurs in the reverse fixture in October.
That was before Mourinho had joined the club, though he has watched the match back and has no intention of showing it to his players again.
“I forbid any image of it,” Mourinho said. “I watched it a couple of times: me, my staff and analysts try to go through every single aspect of that but not one single image for the boys.
“Not at all. We’re going to focus more on us than on Bayern. We’re going to try to develop our model of play, with different bodies, different phases, different players.”
🎙️ Jose: “It’s an important game because we’re representing Tottenham. That always gives us a sense of responsibility." #UCL ⚪️ #COYSpic.twitter.com/gR76W9VdZQ— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 10, 2019
Mourinho brings his side to the Allianz Arena, a place he might have managed after he was linked with the Bayern job before his Spurs appointment.
The Portuguese also learned German, to heighten speculation, but he insists he does not allow himself to pondering managing the five-time European champions due to his happiness at Spurs.
“I don’t imagine myself at Bayern Munich only for only reason: I’m so happy with my job, I don’t look to the next step,” he admitted.
“I think I will leave Tottenham one day, when the owner Mr Levy, eventually the supporters and the players wanted me to leave.
“Because I don’t think to leave at all. That’s the only reason I say I don’t see myself in such a big club like Bayern Munich.”
Despite Bayern’s dominance in Europe this season, they have struggled domestically, having lost their last two Bundesliga games.
They have admitted to becoming too reliant on Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 10 goals in the five Champions League games this season, and Mourinho tried to play mind tricks with his opposite number Hans Dieter Flick.
“He’s such a good player, he scores so many goals, he’s always there when the team needs him,” Mourinho said.
“Of course, they depend a little on him. Their coach thinks different to me I think.
“I left Harry Kane at home. And I expect Lewandowski to play? But maybe he gets injured and doesn’t play at the weekend. So it’s better he thinks twice and doesn’t play him!”
As well as the quartet rested, Spurs will be without Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele, Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Erik Lamela and Michel Vorm.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.