Villarreal’s Serge Aurier gives interesting assessment of Jose Mourinho

Few characters in football seem to have lived through so much turmoil during their club career as Serge Aurier. It’s not purely to do with him either.

After being relegated with RC Lens, he told the fans of his next club Toulouse that he couldn’t turn down a move to Arsenal before finding himself at Paris Saint-Germain. There he lasted three years under the chaotic Laurent Blanc era, before getting himself suspended for criticising Blanc, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and calling Angel di Maria a clown live on Periscope.

Then moving to Arsenal’s cross-town rivals Tottenham, where he was managed by both Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho, before having his contract terminated.

In a recent interview with The Telegraph Sports [paywall], Aurier spoke about his time at Tottenham and the relationship the players had with former Real Madrid manager Mourinho.

“Football has changed compared to ten years ago.”

“He continues to be a great manager but there are some things that have moved on.”

He also had some special words for Mourinho’s assistant manager Joao Sacramento. The 33-year-old Portuguese was brought in by Mourinho for just his second coaching job at Spurs and remains with him at Roma.

“Sometimes the players need more love and attention. Joao is a tough guy and he didn’t have a good relationship with the dressing room, that’s why everything deteriorated. There was a lack of communication.”

The comments were carried by Diario AS in Spain, where Aurier has become a rotation option for Unai Emery.

Even with those communication issues, it didn’t sour Aurier’s relationship with Mourinho, who is renowned for his good management skills. Even so, those skills have come under scrutiny after struggling in his recent positions.

“I love him because Mourinho listens to you and then tells you what he thinks. Sometimes you hate him and you want to kill him, but then you love him because his character is that of a born winner and I identify a lot with that. I don’t have anything against him.”

Finally, Aurier assessed Villarreal’s Champions League chances against Liverpool, who they play in this evening’s semi-final first leg.

“Anything can happen. Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world, but that won’t stop us from fighting. And fighting is my life motto.”

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