Spurs boss takes on former rival Pep Guardiola this weekend with his side struggling for form and the Portuguese joking he doesn’t have the money to solve their problems
Jose Mourinho insists he won’t buy a keychain, t-shirt or mug to commemorate Tottenham reaching a cup final.
But Mourinho admits Tottenham will have to upset the odds against Manchester City as he cannot “solve the problems with a checkbook”.
Tottenham invited a huge amount of mickeys this week to sell Carabao Cup final merchandise – sporting the 2020/21 finalists – only for reaching Wembley.
They face an uphill battle to defeat fit City in the cup final and Etihad on Saturday as Pep Guardiola’s men have been rejuvenated this season.
Mourinho says he could never spend £ 61million on a defender like Ruben Dias and knew the ground rules at Tottenham when he took over, but doesn’t blame his club’s merchandising department for trying to take advantage of a cup final.
Tottenham boss Mourinho said: “I imagine their job is to try and make money, right? If you ask me if I’m going to buy something, I won’t buy anything.
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“If you tell me if you lose the final, what are you going to do with your silver medal … I will say: first of all, I think I will win the final and, second, if you want my silver medal that I give you because I don’t want to keep it.
“Pep and Jurgen are, of course, two of the best coaches in the world and in the Premier League. They’re at two clubs that want to win it all. Pep at one point thought he needed to spend that money on defenders, he did it, luckily for them, so much the better for them.
“But when I got to Tottenham the club were very open and very honest with me. I am not now going to try to compare my situation with other clubs because the club was very open with me. I knew I was going come to a different reality.
“It’s a club that can’t solve problems with a check. And the club have made every effort this summer to improve the team and I’m not complaining, I’m just doing my job the best I can and that’s it.
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Mourinho and Guardiola had a bitter rivalry in Spain when they were in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, but that didn’t follow them to the Premier League as these days they are on good terms.
Mourinho even shared a heartfelt story. “There are times in life when you don’t forget things,” Mourinho said. “One of the things I don’t forget is when my father died [in 2017], he knew how important my dad was to me and made a call.
“When her mother passed away, I responded in the same way. There are things that people don’t see, that we don’t need to share. I share because I now have the opportunity.
“But I only have fond memories of him when we work together.”
It looks like a big week for Mourinho with a trip to City, a Europa League draw next Thursday with Wolfsberg and, after losing to Everton in the FA Cup, the stakes have risen despite having already reached the final of the Carabao Cup.
Tottenham fans are still divided over Mourinho, not least because of his style of play and when told that the fans want to win but do it in style, he almost bit down before playing it safe.
“I want to win games and I want to win games in style,” Mourinho said. “Yes, I want it. I want it.”