Jose Mourinho against Bayern Munich conjures images of laundry baskets, woolly hats and hidden ear-pieces but his only clandestine operation this week has been to keep his players away from the video nasty.
‘I forbid any image about it,’ said Mourinho when asked if he had felt the need to discuss with his Tottenham squad the 7-2 thrashing they suffered at the hands of Bayern in October.
Spurs were seemingly still quaking from the chastening experience when they lost 3-0 at Brighton four days later and, ultimately, there proved to be no way back for Mauricio Pochettino and his successor has given it a wide berth.
‘I have watched it a couple of times with my staff and the analysts,’ said Mourinho. ‘We try to go through every detail but not one single image for the boys. Not at all. We are going to focus on us more than Bayern, to develop our model of play.’
Tottenham arrived in Munich with their place in the last 16 already secured as runners-up, no chance of winning the group and 10 senior players left behind in London, among them Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier, who have all been rested.
Bayern are trying to become only the seventh time to win all six group games in the modern Champions League.
But there will not be the same edge as when Mourinho’s Chelsea came to Munich in 2005 with their manager serving a touchline ban after clashing with referee Anders Frisk in the previous round against Barcelona.
‘I was suspended, I was in the stands,’ he recalled last night. ‘I couldn’t communicate with the team and I decided the best way to do it was to go to the hotel and communicate from the hotel. When I arrived it was 1-0 to Chelsea. We were winning already.’
His assistant Rui Faria was ordered by UEFA officials to remove a woolly hat which was pulled down over his ears to obscure an earpiece. In the return leg at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho is reputed to have hidden in a laundry basket in order to beat the ban and address his players in the dressing room.
Chelsea beat Bayern. Just as Mourinho’s Inter beat them to win the Champions League final in 2010.
'I forbid any image about it'
Jose Mourinho admits he has refused to let his Tottenham players watch any footage of their crushing defeat to Bayern Munich ahead of second meeting in Germanyhttps://t.co/IJflQOGls6
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) December 10, 2019
On Wednesday there is only pride at stake and the chance for him to learn a little more about some of his fringe players including £25m teenager Ryan Sessegnon who is expected to make his first Spurs start.
‘This is a great opportunity for some of them to play,’ said Mourinho. ‘For some of them to show what capable of. A player in competition is different to a player in training and some of them didn’t have chance to play many minutes in the five matches I’ve played since arrived.’