Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho was less than impressed when asked to explain Dele Alli’s absence from his starting lineup ahead of his side’s clash with Chelsea.
Alli lost his temper after being substituted in the second half of Spurs’ Champions League defeat to Leipzig in midweek, throwing his water bottle and one of his boots in anger in the home dugout.
Mourinho insisted after the game that Alli was furious with his own performance rather than his manager’s decision to bring him off and tried to pour cold water on any talk of possible tension between them.
But Alli finds himself on the substitutes bench at Stamford Bridge despite Tottenham’s lack of options in attack following injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Asked whether it was a tactical decision to drop Alli to the bench, Mourinho told BT Sport: ‘I’m not sure if you ask every Premier League manager when some player stays out if you do the same question to every one of them.
‘It looks to me that for other managers it’s normal to leave out any player they want and it looks like with me any time I make a decision of this type it’s always a big story around it.
‘So I prefer not to answer.’
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Frank Lampard has opted for a five-man defence to face Spurs which Mourinho had anticipated leading up to the clash.
‘I cannot demand more than what I do every game which is to give everything they can give,’ the Portuguese added.
‘Of course we had only two days to prepare for the game but we prepared the best we could.
‘As I was more than expecting they come with this system and [Marcos] Alonso playing and we prepared ourselves tactically for that.
‘With what we have available, we are going to fight for the points.’
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