Jose Mourinho acknowledged he was entirely “disappointed” with Tottenham’s performance against Everton on Sunday.
Spurs went into the new campaign with optimism after a strong end to last season, but suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Toffees on home soil in the Premier League.
Quite aside from the result, Mourinho pointed to a lack of energy and intent from the front line in trying to win back possession and harass the Everton defence as Tottenham managed just two shots on target after Carlo Ancelotti’s side took the lead.
“Yes, [I’m] disappointed with the performance. The struggle was in the way we pressed – or the way we didn’t,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “Our pressure up [top] was very poor, lazy pressure.
“You let the opponents build from the back and then they have incredible quality, like almost everybody in the Premier League. When you let them play from the back they are comfortable on the ball.
“When they scored the goal, after that we were not able to create, they dominated the game and were dangerous on the counter.”
Mourinho also noted that Everton’s goal came from a free-kick taken several yards further forward from where the offence was committed; rather than point to it for a reason for defeat, though, he said the emphasis should be on the multiple referee’s assistants to convey the fact rather than let it stand.
“The goal is a bit strange. It’s not an excuse for the defeat but with so many assistants on the pitch and on the line, to take a free kick from a minimum of five metres distance, it’s incredible.
“I was saying it before the goal. Five metres difference makes a huge difference in the position of the back line and the direction of the cross. That creates an imbalance in the rest of the team.”
Spurs are next in action on Thursday when they face Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League.