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The Tottenham coach agrees with his Liverpool counterpart that the Champions League winner should have been given the award

Hansi Flick’s only chance to collect The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award in future is if Bayern Munich find new competitions to win, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho suggested.

Last season, Flick led Bayern to a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble, while they have also lifted the UEFA Super Cup and DFL Super Cup in 2020.

So, a few eyebrows were raised when Flick was overlooked for best men’s coach at FIFA’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp retaining the prize.

Klopp led Liverpool to a first English top-flight title in 30 years last term, but when addressing the media on Friday admitted his own surprise by saying: “I’m grateful for it, obviously. From the first moment, like everybody else, I was looking at it a bit wide-eyed, like, how did that happen?”

Mourinho, whose Tottenham side were beaten by Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday, was asked about the decision when previewing Spurs’ clash with Leicester City.

“I think the only chance for Flick to win is that Bayern find two or three more new competitions to win it,” Mourinho said with a laugh.

“So maybe if he wins seven titles in one season maybe he wins the award, because I believe he only won the Champions League, Bundesliga, Pokal, European Super Cup, German Super Cup – he only won five and the biggest one of all.

“So I think poor Flick the only chance is for Bayern to try and find two or three more trophies to see if he can win it.”

Spurs’ defeat to Liverpool saw Mourinho’s side surrender top spot in the Premier League to the Reds, who they now trail by three points.

Many pundits have noted Tottenham’s propensity to sit deep and play on the counter-attack this season, particularly in bigger matches.

Against Liverpool, Spurs had just 24.2 per cent possession, had 254 passes to Liverpool’s 813 and had a pass accuracy of just 61.4%.

The numbers were not dissimilar when Spurs triumphed 2-0 against Arsenal in the north London derby on December 6. On that occasion they had 30.2% possession, 288 passes and 67.4% passing accuracy.

Indeed, Spurs’ average of 48.01% possession is only 12th in the league this season, while they rank in the same spot for passing accuracy (80.39%).

Mourinho, though, is mainly interested in one statistic, which is how many goals a team scores.

“You love the words possession and you love the stats,” he told reporters.

“What tells me [about a team] is the number of goals you score and the number of chances that you create, so you can have less time with the ball but score more goals than your opponents, create better chances but for some reason not score in relation to this.

“This for me is the fundamental thing. In relation to the way we try to play, sometimes it’s our decision, our game plan, other times it’s our opponent that creates us this situation. 

“For example against Crystal Palace [a 1-1 draw] in the first 20 or 25 minutes of the second half it’s not we tried to play that way, in fact we did exactly the opposite of what was the game plan. 

“Sometimes the game goes in a direction where the responsibility is the opponent, and in these situations I’m always supportive of my players when the opponent in some moments is just better than you and forces you to play in a way you don’t want to do it.”

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December 19, 2020