Football Expert & Columnist
Jose Mourinho was right... Tanguy Ndombele's display was a disgrace, says Jamie Carragher
Carragher: "I've watched him a lot this season, and he either can't run or he doesn't want to run - both of them are not good things"
Last Updated: 10/03/20 5:03pm
Jamie Carragher provided a withering assessment of Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele's display against Burnley, claiming Jose Mourinho's criticism was justified.
Mourinho said he "cannot keep giving Ndombele opportunities" after hauling the Frenchman off at half-time of his side's 1-1 draw at Burnley on Saturday night.
Spurs' club-record £54m summer signing was one of two changes at the interval along with Oliver Skipp as the visitors trailed 1-0, and Carragher explained on Monday Night Football that Mourinho had a point.
"The criticism from Jose Mourinho was justified," he told Sky Sports.
"It is a debate whether you do it publicly or in private. We have this debate all the time about managers who criticise players. I said after about 10 minutes as I was commentating on the game that Spurs are a shambles.
"His performance was nothing short of a disgrace in terms of his effort off the ball. On the ball, he was very good, but off the ball, you can't believe what you're seeing.
"If you look at his stats on the ball in the first half, he was one of the best Tottenham players. When you watch him in the game, he very rarely loses the ball.
"I guarantee those three centre-backs will be on the coach or plane on the way home saying, 'I don't enjoy playing with him, how bad was that when we had the ball'."
Carragher on Ndombele
"But he didn't have a single sprint in 45 minutes and his top speed is 10th. Jose Mourinho spoke about not getting passes from the centre-backs, him not showing for the ball. He received two passes from the back.
"He just seems to walk about and not move until the ball comes near him. He likes to tell other people what to do. He was hiding and eventually one of the three centre-backs had to look beyond him with a long ball and they often then lost possession.
"He was too often standing, marking himself and not looking for the ball. Oliver Skipp was always moving and trying to find the angle, but this is the £60m player.
"He almost reminded me of when you play with kids at school. They only want to play football when the ball comes at your feet. He had pure quality on the ball. I've watched him a lot this season, and he either can't run or he doesn't want to run - both of them are not good things.
"He doesn't like to run or defend and everything looks like he's jogging or running like an old man. But when the ball comes to him, he comes alive. That is not enough."
"I guarantee those three centre-backs will be on the coach or the plane on the way home saying, 'I don't enjoy playing with him', how bad was that when we had the ball.... there was no one to pass the ball to'. That's the biggest problem.
"Whether Jose should have gone public is a different debate, but what he said was absolutely spot on."
Ndombele attempted zero tackles and interceptions during his 45-minute appearance.
The Frenchman is not the first player to have been publicly criticised by Mourinho during his managerial career, with Joe Cole, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba having all been on the receiving end of his ire on previous occasions.
Sven-Goran Eriksson was the special guest on Monday Night Football, but the experienced Swede admits Mourinho's approach is not one he took during his time in the dug-out.
"I don't know [what he's trying to achieve]," Erikkson told MNF." Every manager has their own style of course but personally, I would be afraid to do what Mourinho did.
"I would be afraid of losing the player for a long time. Maybe the criticism is fair, but I would have done it in the dressing room together with the player or in my office.
"I've never publicly criticised a player for how they are playing. If they behaved badly in front of the referee maybe I would do it in front of everyone but if they fail to play football well, no, I prefer to do that privately."
After watching Carragher's analysis, however, Eriksson added: "It was worse than I thought.
"This is not for the Premier League. You have to run. If you don't run, you don't play in the Premier League. That's the first rule.
"When he got the ball, you can see he's a great footballer so he needs to add something that belongs to the Premier League, otherwise, he will never be a Premier League player.
"You talk about a message to the player or the owner, but it can also be a message to his team-mates to say you don't behave like this when you don't have the ball. You have to run.
"It's strange. They've bought him for a lot of money, and he hasn't performed. You can't play like that in the Premier League. You cannot play like that in any league. It seems like the attitude is totally missing."