Back in September, before England faced Wales, Belgium and Denmark in the space of six days, Jose Mourinho made a request to Gareth Southgate.
The Tottenham boss asked that the ex-Middlesbrough manager didn’t overplay Harry Kane in those fixtures, as he didn’t want the Spurs talisman getting injured.
The Guardian quote him as saying: ‘Hopefully Gareth and Steve understand what happened with Tottenham this week and they respect the players. That’s just my hope but I’m not going to call or ask or beg.’
In fairness to Southgate, he only started the £200,000-a-week (Spotrac) striker against Denmark on that occasion. However, after the Tottenham No.10 was named in the starting XI to face Iceland last night, we presume Mourinho will be infuriated.
Why? Well, for one, the Nations League outing was a meaningless fixture, as England’s defeat to Belgium a few days ago meant that they could only finish third in their group.
In that respect, Southgate really shouldn’t have started the injury-prone Kane, especially seeing as he had also started him against Belgium on Sunday.
What will presumably anger Mourinho even more is the fact that he and Kane now face a gruelling run of fixtures back in north London.
Tottenham take on Manchester City, Ludogorets, Chelsea, LASK and Arsenal all before December 6th, which equates to a game every 3.4 days.
Mourinho would surely have preferred his talisman to sit the Iceland game out entirely, and he is more than entitled to feel that way.