Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith thinks that Jose Mourinho's comments about the Tottenham players needing to feel loved were aimed at Mauricio Pochettino and the latter stages of his Spurs reign.
The former striker admitted that Pochettino was still hugely respected by his players even after he left, but certain 'agendas' with player contracts towards the end of his Tottenham reign didn't help.
Since Mourinho has come into the club, he has won all three games in charge, as he admitted that he has been showing the love to his players, as quoted by Sky Sports.
Speaking to Football Centre on Sky Sports (04/12/19 at 11:05 am), Smith thinks that signing the likes of Jan Vertonghen up to new contracts will provide the club with a big boost.
On Mourino saying his players need to feel loved and what it says about Pochettino: "I think the opposite was true, the last month or two," Smith told Sky Sports. "Before that, there was a strong connection between manager and players. There's no doubt about that.
"The fact that a few of them went round his house to say goodbye and all the rest of it which show there was a lot of love and affection there. In the end, it turned a bit sour, he maybe took his eye off the ball. He maybe didn't feel totally committed. He didn't really want to be there anymore and that's when the gap opens up between him and the players.
"That's maybe what Mourinho was talking about. Beforehand, there was the agendas with the two centre-backs who hadn't signed contracts. Danny Rose, with Eriksen he still has to solve. What will he do with the playmaker? He's made a big difference in a short space of time. All of a sudden, Vertonghen is talking about 'oh, maybe I will sign a new contract'. Alderweireld playing well. If you can keep them then they are still top, top defenders and that'll give the club a big boost."
Mourinho faces his biggest test tonight when his Spurs side take on the club that sacked him last December.
Whilst Manchester United are not at their best and struggling in the league, just playing at Old Trafford and the whole occasion will test the players.
But Mourinho will be desperate to secure all three points because it'll help keep the pressure on those sitting in the top-four and pile more misery on the Manchester club.
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