Jamie O’Hara has hit back at ‘disrespectful’ claims that Jose Mourinho has been ‘left behind’ as a football manager, insisting he is still one of the world’s best coaches.
Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this week, football pundit Tony Cascarino said the Special One’s time at the top of the game is over, branding his philosophy outdated and lacking in effective tactics.
The former Chelsea striker’s comments came after watching Spurs lose at home to RB Leipzig in their Champions League last-16 first leg clash.
The north London side lost the game 1-0 but in truth the Bundesliga side would have scored four or five if it weren’t for an inspired Hugo Loris, with Spurs a shambles at the back at times.
Comparing Mourinho and Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann’s game plans, Cascarino suggested the 57-year-old Portuguese is starting to be eclipsed by younger coaches who are dominating the modern game with a flair-based attacking style of play.
But former Tottenham midfielder O’Hara strongly denied those claims on Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, insisting Mourinho has worked wonders to keep this Spurs team in the hunt for a top-four spot.
While their performances have not been great, only Liverpool and Manchester City have recorded more points in the Premier League than Spurs since the Special One’s appointment, with Tottenham currently fifth in the table and only one point below fourth-place Chelsea.
“I think it’s disrespectful to be honest, I think that’s bad shout,” said O’Hara.
“To call him ‘yesterday’s man’ is complete nonsense. It’s not even about having my manager’s hat on, I think it’s out of order.
“Tottenham just beat Man City with a tactical way of playing, and at the end of the day Spurs have got their two best players out, the two players who get up the pitch and make things happen.
“You take those players out of any team in the Premier League, they would struggle, and he’s had to adapt.
“So I disagree with the point Cas is making that he’s ‘yesterday’s man’, I think it’s unfair.
“Mouringo gets a lot of stick from the press and people talking about the way he plays – he is one of the greatest ever managers to be in the Premier league!
“Since Mourinho had come in Tottenham have gone up and are in the top three in terms of form in the Premier League since he’s taken over.
“They’ve got themselves up to fifth in the league and he’s doing it with a squad that’s really, really struggling.
“For me, he’s still one of the greatest managers.
“Yes, everyone wants to see this dynamic football and Leipzig were fantastic the other night, but you can’t say he’s ‘yesterday’s man’, you just can’t.”