Jose Mourinho defends Tottenham’s cup final merchandise

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Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will meet for the 25th time as managers at the Etihad on Saturday, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By George Sessions, PA

Jose Mourinho has no issue with Tottenham selling merchandise to mark their Carabao Cup Final appearance but will not be dipping into his own pocket to purchase any.

Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Etihad between Manchester City and Spurs will act as a dress rehearsal for the first final of the season later this year on April 25.

Rival supporters took note this week of the Lilywhites selling a mug in addition to other items which had ‘Carabao Cup Finalists 2020/21’ branded on them.

Given Tottenham have not won a trophy for 13 years, it sparked a debate about the mentality of the club but their prolific trophy-winning manager understands the reason for the memorabilia.

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“I didn’t know. I think we have a marketing and merchandise department that is responsible for that,” Mourinho said.

“Maybe I am saying something silly but I imagine that a very important thing in their job is to make money, right? It’s to make money so if you can make money selling anything, just make money.

“If you ask me if am I going to buy anything, I am not going to buy anything.

“If you tell me if you lose the final, what are you going to do with your silver medal? I am going to say first of all I think I am going to win the final. Secondly if you want my silver medal, I give to you because I don’t want to keep it.

“But I think marketing and merchandise is about making money. Sell anything you can sell. Probably they are doing very well.

“We have empty stadiums, incredible stadium always empty. How many millions is Tottenham losing every match we play at home? How many millions is Tottenham losing per month?

“We have to make money so we go to a final; try to sell some pins, some shirts, key-rings, anything, so well done.”

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Gareth Bale was at Spurs when they lifted the League Cup back in 2008 but missed the Wembley date with an ankle injury.

The Real Madrid loanee, who returned to the club in the summer, was also absent for the midweek FA Cup defeat at Everton despite his Instagram post a day earlier stating: “Good session today.”

It left his manager frustrated and after a scan came back clear, a late call will be made on whether the Welshman travels up to Manchester.

Mourinho added: “I have to admit his post created the need to be addressed because there was a contradiction between the post and reality.

“Since the beginning of the season, in relation to everything, I try to be very private and keep everything indoors. But I felt that I needed to address the situation.

“Probably the post was not even his responsibility, I don’t know. But the post was showing that ‘training session great so I’m ready’ and it was totally wrong. So when I was questioned I had to say the reality of the things.”

A contrast of philosophies will clash on Saturday evening, with Guardiola’s City renowned for free-flowing football while Mourinho’s pragmatism has won him trophies throughout his career.

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But the Portuguese manager insisted: “I want to win matches and I want to win matches with style, yes I do.”

Tottenham’s motto of ‘To Dare Is To Do’ has not always fit in with Mourinho’s more traditional way of protecting a lead but a war chest like that afforded to one-time colleague Guardiola would help.

City have spent more than £400million on improving their defence since the ex-Barcelona head coach arrived in England five years ago and recent recruit Ruben Dias has made a huge impact in their 15-game winning streak.

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