Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham players are not good enough to play his way and that is partly the reason he has fallen behind his rival Pep Guardiola.
That is according to ex-Manchester City right-back Danny Mills, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as the two managers prepare to face off on Saturday.
City are accelerating away from the chasing pack atop the Premier League and will go 19 points clear of Tottenham with a victory.
Two of the most decorated managers in modern football history, the pair have often been pitted against one another by pundits and fans.
Mills claims that Guardiola’s recent record with Manchester City puts him ahead but that Spurs fans are wrong to complain about Mourinho’s functional football.
He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “It’s trophies, simple as that. That’s what it comes down to. Mourinho hasn’t won the Premier League for a while and hasn’t won the Champions League for a while either.
“They are two different managers and both incredibly good at what they do.
“City have gone under the radar, even though they’ve won 15 games in a row because they’ve done it in a steady way. Before it’s been 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, blowing teams away, scintillating football.
“I feel a bit sorry for Mourinho, I’ve always liked and admired him as a manager. But the players aren’t good enough to play how he wants to play, so he thinks he has to be really defensive. With Son, with Kane, they know they can nick a goal.
“Everyone’s saying, ‘Oh it’s too negative, we don’t like it.’ Okay, then go and play your fancy football and go and get beat 5-4…
“Tottenham fans, what do you want? Do you want to go to the cup final against Guardiola and win it with a boring performance or do you want to lose it 7-6?”
The two bosses have faced each other 24 times, more than either has faced any other coach.
Guardiola has beaten Mourinho on 11 occasions, the pair have drawn six times and Mourinho has won seven.