Tottenham’s calamitous late collapse against West Ham on Sunday has not persuaded José Mourinho there is any reason to be pessimistic about extending his 100% record in Europe’s secondary club competition – competed twice, won twice – as his side begin the Europa League group stage against Lask at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday.
In their last game Spurs conceded three times in the last eight minutes as a comfortable 3-0 lead evaporated, and it was put to Mourinho that those with long memories would consider such displays so typical of the club that they might be described as “Spursy”.
“The past is not important for me. The future is,” he said. “We are a team in evolution. Nobody [in the Premier League] played better than us with the ball, which is a big evolution from last season. We are a very exciting team to watch and that is very important, because that is the DNA we want to have.
“Is that enough to win matches? No, and you have the proof – that we have only eight points when we played so amazing in every match apart from Everton. Of course we need to learn how to get a result [but] I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80 we can play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again. So I don’t want to be stuck on this, and stories about [being] Spursy.”
Against West Ham Gareth Bale missed a chance to score a fourth goal and settle the match, and Mourinho warned fans not to expect the Welshman to replicate the that earned him a world-record move to Real Madrid in 2013. “No player is the same with such a gap of time,” he said. “We are speaking about seven years, not seven months. It’s not just Bale, it’s every player in the world. In seven years players change. Sometimes it’s not about changing for better or worse, it’s just change. An evolution in qualities, style of play, sometimes even the positions they play. Of course he’s not the same player.”