Moussa Sissoko has admitted that Jose Mourinho was not the only man at fault for Tottenham‘s lacklustre campaign prior to the Portuguese manager’s dismissal in April. Club chairman Daniel Levy decided to call time on the 58-year-old’s tenure after less than 18 months at the helm with Spurs languishing outside the Premier League‘s top five.
Ryan Mason was selected to take charge on an interim basis but failed to steer the north London club back to the division’s upper reaches.
Spurs could only manage a seventh-placed finish and were forced to settle for qualification for the all-new Europa Conference League after missing out on a spot in UEFA’s top two continental tournaments.
They also spurned a number of opportunities to end their 13-year wait to claim major honours, tasting defeat in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City after crashing out of the Europa League at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb in embarrassing fashion.
Tottenham’s poor run of form since the turn of the year ultimately cost Mourinho his job, with Levy now on the lookout for a permanent replacement ahead of the new season.
Recently departed Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte looked to be closing in on the vacancy until Friday evening, when Spurs unexpectedly pulled the plug at the eleventh hour.
Reflecting on Mourinho’s ill-fated time at the helm, Sissoko has claimed that his former manager was not entirely responsible for the club’s situation, but suggested that looking back will not do his team-mates any good as they gear up for what is likely to be another challenging season.
“For me, it was a real pleasure to be able to work with him,” the Spurs midfielder told Foot Mercato.
“We all know his background and his career. He is a huge coach, even if at home he could not achieve his goals but he is not the only fault. He’s gone and I wish him the best.
“I would have liked to be able to do better as the team. For various reasons, it turned out differently. We cannot go back and we must move forward now.”
Sissoko is under contract at Tottenham until the end of next season and is yet to enter into negotiations over a new deal.
The 31-year-old, who became a World Cup winner with France three years ago, appears to be facing an uncertain future with Spurs needing to raise transfer funds through player sales ahead of the new campaign.
Turning the focus to his current situation, Sissoko refused to rule out the possibility of a move away from the club but insisted that he is more than happy in his present surroundings.
“Now, I am a person who does not close any doors,” he added. “If a new challenge arises, we’ll see what I do. But today, I am not closing any doors for my future because, as I said, it has been a difficult year for me at the club.
“I also want to see what the club decides. Maybe they will say to me: ‘Moussa, it is time to look elsewhere’. Or maybe they will say to me: ‘Moussa, we absolutely want you to stay’.
“In any case, I am open to all proposals today because I lived a rather complicated year. I want to play football. I am the happiest when I am on the field.
“I’m going to be 32 soon so I’m more towards the end than the beginning of my career. What I want is to continue to play, to have fun. So I’m not saying I absolutely want to leave Tottenham.
“I’m good there, I had a good time there and I feel good with the supporters and with my teammates, with whom I get on well. We will discuss with the club and we will make the decision then.”