‘I have to be more ambitious than that’: Jose Mourinho adamant that finishing above Arsenal isn’t a priority for Tottenham after Portuguese takes bragging rights in North London derby
Toby Alderweireld’s late header was enough to clinch victory for Spurs, a result that moved Mourinho’s side two points above the Gunners with just three games left to play.
After over two decades of Arsenal being the dominant force in north London, Tottenham have finished above their neighbours for the past three seasons.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says that finishing above Arsenal isn’t his priority
Toby Alderweireld headed in inside the final 10 minutes to hand Tottenham a 2-1 victory
But Mourinho said: ‘That is a fan’s view. I have to be more ambitious than that.
‘I know I could look at in a selfish point of view and say since I arrived, if the championship started in that moment, even with all the problems we had I think we would now be fourth or fifth in the table.
‘I don’t want to be selfish, I don’t want to look at it just as a fan that is happy to finish above Arsenal.
Mourinho said that he would relish attempting to win the Europa League for the third time
‘I would love to play Europa League. It is not a competition I am in love with, it is not a competition I would like very much to play, but when you cannot play Champions League you play Europa League.
‘In my career I only played Europa League twice, and I won it twice. It would not be bad to play it a third time and to win it a third time.’
Mourinho also claimed his heroic players were the embodiment of Tottenham’s supporters as they clinched victory in front of an empty stadium.
The fact the game was played behind-closed-doors took an edge off what is usually one of the most hotly contested matches of the Premier League season.
‘What I asked for them tactically they gave me, what I asked from them from the emotional point of view, they gave me even more,’ the Portuguese added.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta stressed that his side have to learn from their defeat to Tottenham
‘They were fantastic. They felt the game as fans, they wore their skin. We spoke about it not being a great season for fans to enjoy and this is really important for that.’
Meanwhile, Gunners boss Arteta added: ‘We have to learn, in every game something happens.
‘A little margin here, a little margin there. But I’m sure we will get there. I’m proud because I’ve never seen them play like they did today. I’m sorry for the fans, I’m know how much it means to them.
‘If we minimise the mistakes we do and play like that we will win many, many, many football games.’