Just before kick-off of Saturday’s 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur win over Leeds United, there was a pretty substantial kerfluffle over a social media photo that showed three Spurs players — Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso, and Sergio Reguilon — at a Christmas gathering. Obviously, with the UK under lockdown for COVID-19 and these kinds of gatherings prohibited, this was a pretty big no-no.
Tottenham issued a sternly worded statement condemning the gathering and saying that the situation would be “handled internally.” Jose Mourinho talked a little bit about it in the post-match press conference.
“We don’t need to open the door to you and let you know what is going on internally, what are going to be the consequences, how did we approach that negative surprise. I feel disappointed, just disappointed.”
Mourinho went on to say that he purchased Reguilon a special gift because he felt sorry that he’d be spending Christmas alone this year.
“An amazing gift, an amazing gift. A Portuguese piglet which is amazing for Portuguese and Spanish [people]. I gave him because I was told he was going to spend Christmas on his own. I had this thought about him.
“He was not alone as you could see and we the club of course feel disappointed because we give the players all the education, all the conditions. Of course we’re not happy. It was a negative surprise for us.”
We could speculate further about the connection between Jose Mourinho, Sergio Reguilon, and very expensive pork, but that’s for another day.
Lamela and Lo Celso were quick to issue apologies on social media.
I want to apologise for a decision I made over Christmas which I deeply regret. On reflection I understand the seriousness of my actions and the impact it has on others.— Erik Manuel Lamela (@ErikLamela) January 2, 2021
I am truly thankful to everyone working hard to keep us safe and I feel ashamed knowing I’ve let people down.
These are both good apologies — they didn’t talk about a “mistake” or issue mealy-mouthed “I’m sorry if you were offended” non-apologies. They recognized that they made a choice, it was a bad one, and that they regret and feel shame for their actions. Nothing yet from Reguilon, but he could start the process of making amends by overnighting me that Portuguese piglet. That sounds delicious.
When stuff like this happens, the best we can hope for is that the people involved recognize that they did something really dumb, feel bad for what they have done, and work to correct their behavior going forward. So far, things are off to a good start in that regard.