Tottenham Hotspur have caught attention for all the wrong reasons where Toby Alderweireld is concerned.
Following Spurs’ disappointing 2-2 capitulation against relegation-threatened Newcastle United, Jose Mourinho came under scrutiny having issued some bizarre claims as to why Alderweireld was excluded from the squad.
Chiefly, Alderweireld was reported to have missed two training sessions and had missed a virus test in a development that would ordinarily have forced Alderweireld out of the team.
Despite this claim, video and photographic evidence emerged of Alderweireld in Spurs’ Thursday and Friday training sessions (via MailOnline), while it is also claimed that the 32-year-old defender did have his test following his return from the Belgian national side.
Why Mourinho would contradict a seeming reality of Alderweireld’s situation is unknown, but former Spurs stalwart Graham Roberts was as confused and bemused as the next person.
Speaking to Football FanCast, Roberts was brutally honest as to the dubiousness of the situation: “We don’t know what’s happening at the moment. If you believe what the manager is saying, and you should do because he’s the one that’s in charge of the football team, then… if Toby missed his Covid test, then, you know, he can’t play.
“But he’s then training out on the pitch that day or the day before, so we just don’t know what’s going on at the moment. It’s a bit up and down.”
It may be that Mourinho was simply deceiving the press in order to disguise sporting reasons for excluding Alderweireld over other options, or even as innocuous as Mourinho simply muddling the facts.
Regardless, it is difficult not to view this situation with a cynical eye.