Mourinho slams Dutch club’s inflexible approach

Jose Mourinho felt Ajax’s insistence of sticking to their football philosophy contributed to their dramatic Champions League exit.

The Amsterdammers cruised into a 2-0 half-time lead in the second leg of their semi-final against Tottenham, goals from captain Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech gifting them a 3-0 aggregate lead with just 45 minutes remaining in the tie.

Mourinho felt that was the time to divert from their usual attacking style and adopt a more defensive approach in order to see the job through.

Speaking in his role as a pundit on beIN SPORTS, Mourinho said: “The philosophy is what makes a team grow up. You need that base, you need that philosophy, you need a style of play adapted to the qualities of the players you have and Ajax deserve all the credit for that.

“[But] football is a sporting battle and in battles you need strategy and to win matches, especially special matches, you need sometimes to go against your philosophy to win a football match.

“The basic thing you do when you have an advantage is to keep your balance all the time, never [become] imbalanced.

“The balance starts with the defensive line in position and after that a certain number of players always behind the ball. But they stuck with their philosophy, they played the second half like they were playing against Vitesse in the Dutch league.”

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