You may or may not have caught this moment after Tottenham Hotspur’s comprehensive 5-0 win over Burnley today, but Jose Mourinho did another good and classy thing as the players celebrated on the pitch. Jose grabbed the match ball from the officials and handed it over to 17-year old Irish striker Troy Parrott, who came on late in the match for his Premier League debut.
Here’s video of the incident.
Mourinho went up to Son at full-time and asked for the match ball so he could give it to Troy Parrott to mark his Premier League debut.— The Spurs Web ⚪️ (@thespursweb) December 7, 2019
An incredible touch from Jose. pic.twitter.com/VFSVJhjhSn
So that match ball could’ve gone to any number of players — by rights it maybe should’ve gone to Son Heung-Min, who scored one of the best individual goals you’ll ever see by someone not named Lionel Messi. But a Premier League debut is important, and something that young players never forget. By giving the match ball to Parrott, Mourinho continues his charm offensive as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, and may have further cemented his relationship with Troy.
Update: Jose also addressed it in his post-match press conference!
“It’s the Premier League debut for a 17 year kid, so if he has the chance to have the ball for his debut. Sometimes it’s for the guy who has his hat trick but I think it has a bigger meaning for a 17-year-old boy.
“Last week he was playing in the UEFA Youth League with kids of his age. Today he played in the Premier League. He played for Tottenham in the Premier League, played for his country in a match in Dublin. I think amazing week for him.”
We know Mourinho doesn’t have the best reputation for bringing in and playing young players in his previous managerial positions, but he brought on three today — Ryan Sessegnon and Oliver Skipp all came on as subs along with Parrott. That’s going to go a long way towards ingratiating himself with the segment of Spurs fandom (myself included) who are still a little tepid about his appointment.
So as a Mourinho Skeptic™, let me say this: well done, Jose. Now start Lo Celso against Bayern, please.