Jose Mourinho didn’t think there was any need for Gareth Southgate to substitute Jack Grealish during their victory over Denmark as England “were in control”.
The Three Lions overcame Denmark 2-1 in extra-time on Wednesday to book their place in the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley on Sunday.
The England side came from behind having conceded their first goal of the tournament and, having got in front, Southgate then made a tactical change and took off crowd favourite Jack Grealish just 36 minutes after he had come on as a second-half substitute.
The Aston Villa captain was brought on for Bukayo Saka in the 69th minute before being taken off in the aftermath of Harry Kane’s winning goal as Southgate switched systems with Kieran Trippier adding more defensive solidity.
Southgate insisted that Grealish took the decision well but Mourinho doesn’t think it was a switch that the England boss needed to make.
“I didn’t like, too,” Mourinho said on talkSPORT.
“But I’ve done not just very similar but probably even worse, which was recently we started a game in the Champions League with Tottenham against Olympiakos, and after 20 minutes I had to make a change. We were losing 2-0 and I brought Eric Dier out. It was something that broke my heart but I did it for the team.
“Probably Gareth tried to explain to Grealish why he did that. It was not with the intention to hurt Jack, I’m pretty sure of that. It was the intention to try and help the team.
“But honestly, I didn’t see a reason for that. England was not in trouble, England were in control and Denmark were exhausted physically and mentally.
“I could even feel with Jack having more space and with the game totally broken, I could see Jack helping England to resolve the game even easier and to kill it.
“So I didn’t feel any need to do that [bring him off]. But I am 100 per cent sure Gareth did that with an intention of thinking about the team and not about hurting the player.”