Tottenham suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday and many fans are wondering as to why Mourinho did not name Erik Lamela in the starting line-up.

The midfielder started the game on the bench and only came on in the 63rd minute to replace Ndombele. And during the final 30 minutes of the match, the 27-year-old was easily the best player for Spurs on the pitch.

And when Mourinho asked as to why Erik Lamela got only 30 odd minutes in such a key game, the manager explained why he chose to make such a decision.

“Yes, [I stand by it], we knew it was important to play the way we did tactically and then use what pace we had,” Mourinho told Football London.

“We had strange game plans but we needed to have them. Like Lamela, who played well, people think I’m stupid that I don’t play him, but he’s constantly communicating with me in the warm-up, can I play or not. He was telling me about his feelings.

“That guy who played so well for 20 minutes, in the warm-up, he was in communication with me because he was not sure he could go. That’s Lamela. Amazing guy, a fantastic player and trying to help the team.”

Even Martin Keown was all praise for the 27-year-old claiming Erik Lamela completed changed the dynamics of the game on he came on.

“When they made the changes, Dele Alli coming on, Lamela. I thought Lamela completely changed the game,” he told Match of the Day.

“He played with conviction, expression. They got lucky, because they deserved that by getting players forward. Suddenly, they switched.”

To be honest, the manager had already hinted before the match that Erik Lamela is not a 100 per cent but with the second leg against Leipzig in the Champions League coming up pretty soon, Mourinho will be hoping the player can be back to full fitness soon enough.

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