Jose Mourinho has said Tottenham’s hectic fixture list is “not human” and that he could be forced to field a youth team in the Carabao Cup to cope with the workload.
Spurs start their Premier League campaign with a home clash against Everton on Sept. 13, beginning a hectic period which could see them play nine games in 22 days.
Tottenham travel to Bulgaria next week for their Europa League second qualifying round match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv and will play twice more in European competition if they progress, in addition to two League Cup rounds, before the October international break.
“If I think too much about it, I don’t know how to answer and I will get depressed. I don’t want to get depressed. I want to go to every match with a smile,” Mourinho said when asked how he would navigate this period.
SPURS FIXTURE CONGESTION
|Sept. 13||Everton (H)|
|Sept. 17||Lokomotiv Plovdiv (A)|
|Sept. 20||Southampton (A)|
|Sept. 22||Orient or Plymouth (A)|
|Sept. 24*||Botosani or Shkendija (A)*|
|Sept. 26/27||Newcastle (H)|
|Sept. 29*||Carabao Cup*|
|Oct. 1*||Europa League*|
|Oct. 3/4||Man Utd (A)|
|*subject to progression in cup|
“I want to go to every match positive. But the other day I made a challenge with my boys, asking them which one of them thinks they can play all these nine matches for 90 minutes and nobody told me ‘I can.’
“So we all are very, very aware that it is impossible to do it. It is not human. It is a big risk in terms of our ambitions, first of all, because it is very, very possible you lose one of these matches and the part of the Premier League where you can lose and stay in competition but if you lose in the Europa League, you go out. If you lose in the Carabao Cup, you go out too.
“So looking at that level, it is a big risk. Injury, obviously, if everybody speaks about lots of matches in some periods, this is something unique. It has never happened. If we decide that one of these competitions is not important for us, we go against the nature of the club, we go against our own nature, we go against our ambitions because the Europa League and the League Cup, we have our ambitions. We have our rights to try and fight for the competitions.
“In the end, we end by asking: ‘Which professionals? Who are the people? Who are the illuminated that make these decisions?’ Because this is not about Tottenham. This is about an English club. It was Tottenham but it could be Wolves, it could be Sheffield United.
“It is not about us but I would like to know, because in this moment they hide, who makes a team play Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday again, Thursday again, Sunday again. Do they want us to play with the youth team in the Carabao Cup? Do they want us? That’s my question.”
Mourinho also said he is confident Tottenham will sign a striker to help share the goal scoring burden on Harry Kane.
Spurs have shown an interest in Red Bull Salszburg’s Patson Daka and Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik.
“Yes, I want, I need a striker,” he said. “But I want to make it very, very clear that the club — the structure above me — knows that I need a striker and they also want a striker. Are we going to get one? I honestly believe so.”