If there’s a player who has perhaps benefitted the most from Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Tottenham Hotspur, it’s Lucas Moura. The Brazilian forward has certainly had his ups and downs this season, but is currently on a bit of a purple patch since being moved into a more central position a few weeks ago.
It’s been made clear recently that there are some major issues in the Tottenham Hotspur locker room, and those cracks were exposed most recently by club captain Hugo Lloris after the loss to Dinamo Zagreb. In an especially forthright interview after the loss, Lloris questioned both his coach’s tactics and his teammates’ motivations, suggesting there’s a pretty significant rift between factions of players over Mourinho and the way the team is playing.
However, to hear Lucas tell it, the club is actually all in the same boat, united in purpose, fully together, whatever analogy you want to use. In an interview after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa, Lucas said that the suggestions of discord and dissatisfaction with Mourinho are overstated.
“We are all together. We’re in the same boat. We lose together, we win together. What happened in Croatia was our fault. Everyone included. When we’re on the pitch, we just want to win. We know there are a lot of fans behind the TV supporting us. We play for our family, we play for pride and we’re all together.
“We believe in the coach. We believe in the coach because we know his history. We just want to be successful here.”
That’s not to say that there haven’t been problems. Lucas went on to confirm that there was a team meeting between coach and players after the match in Croatia, and while he wasn’t specific about everything that went on behind closed doors, he said it was a motivational meeting.
“We talked about that game. The manager told us a lot of things but it’s more particular, the kind of things we need to keep between us. He has a lot of experience and he tried to motivate us, and it was very good for the game of today. Let’s go. With luck. We have nine games to play, we have a final, let’s finish the season well.
“Yes, it’s been a very bad week for us. The last two games were very bad, the feeling was very bad. [At Aston Villa] we showed our nature, we showed attitude. The good thing about football is you don’t have time to cry. You have a lot of games to play and in each game you can do differently. We did differently [at Villa], we deserved that win and I’m very happy for that.”
So on the one hand we have Hugo Lloris, suggesting there are rifts in the squad that center around playing time, training, and Jose Mourinho. On the other hand we have Lucas who doesn’t discount some discord but who claims the players ultimately have each other’s back. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, and that’s fine. Like in so many things, there’s nothing going on at Tottenham Hotspur that a few wins can’t at least help paper over.