Jose Mourinho has hit out at England manager Gareth Southgate for playing Phil Jones in an international friendly against Germany despite the defender suffering from a long-standing thigh problem. The Manchester United man limped off the pitch after aggravating his problem and is unlikely to be available for the game against Newcastle United this weekend.
The manager laments that he has been naive in protecting his troops when other clubs were quick to call their players back citing a setback. Tottenham Hotspur were able to hold on to their key players ahead of the north London Derby against Arsenal this weekend. Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Dele Alli were all at home while Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph went back to Manchester City.
"I don't think it is possible for a player with a problem to play in a friendly," Mourinho said, as quoted by the Mirror. "Of course, Phil Jones had a problem. He was having a problem for three weeks, he's having problems that are stopping him to play for his club and then he plays for his club in extreme conditions [in their final match before the internationals] because it's a big match against Chelsea.
"And then he goes to the national team and he comes home with an ongoing injury that everyone knows is an ongoing injury."
Mourinho accused other clubs in the league of trying to hold on to their players by citing one injury or the other but the player is always fit to play when called on by the club over the weekend. He specifically mentioned Fabian Delph and Danny Drinkwater for pulling stunts to give themselves a break.
"You have always some clubs where their players, they have always have something. It could be a fingernail, he has a little flu, he has a problem with the little toe, and they withdraw, and they stay with their clubs and they have their holidays and they have their rest," Mourinho added.
"Then, there are always the clubs where the managers are naive (holding up his hand to say 'me'), too pure and they say you have to go and they go and sometimes they pay the price and they pay the price.
"I want to see this next weekend if the players that were not going to the national team, I want to see if they are going to play. Drinkwater? Delph? The only one that is not playing is Phil Jones."