Jose Mourinho brands Southampton coach an ‘idiot’ after being given yellow card for confrontation during Tottenham defeat

Match Referee Mike Dean shows a yellow card to Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium.

Any lingering hope that Tottenham have hired the old, charming Jose Mourinho rather than the snarling, confrontational manager of recent years might have been extinguished on New Year’s Day as he stalked the touchline, got booked by referee Mike Dean and subsequently labelled a Southampton coach an “idiot”. 

Mourinho looked frustrated as he watched Spurs lose 1-0 at St Mary’s to a Danny Ings goal. Late in the game he marched into the opposition’s technical area to have words in the ear of a member of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s backroom staff, prompting a furious reaction from the Southampton bench. 

Dean came across and produced a yellow card, and Mourinho appeared to offer a conciliatory hand.

But speaking after the game, Mourinho said: “I think the yellow card is fair because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot.”

It has now been a year since Tottenham kept a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League, but Mourinho insisted he did not need to buy new defenders in order to resolve the problem.

“It was quite a strange game,” he said. 

“We had no problems defensively. They didn’t create great problems. We see the bad result today which is the continuity of the last year. For 12 months, it has been very difficult to get results away from home. The work is not about buying, it is about working with the players on the pitch.”

Moments after Mourinho was booked, Tottenham lost their talisman Harry Kane to what appeared to be a strained hamstring. The fact that the striker was replaced by a winger in Erik Lamela served to highlight the lack of options to deputise for Kane.

“Harry Kane plays every minute, he plays all the time. It might be big, it might be small. For sure he will be out,” he added. “Tanguy Ndombele, I don’t know. I imagine this is the tenth injury of the season. They stop him to play. It doesn’t give him continuity. We had three days between matches.”

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