Dimitar Berbatov wasn’t surprised to see Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho break coronavirus lockdown rules as he’s “always operated outside the box”.
Footage appeared of Mourinho guiding Tanguy Ndombele through a training session on Hadley Common in north London.
Spurs players Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were also pictured elsewhere, jogging side by side in a video clip.
Mourinho admitted he was wrong to ignore government advice and urged people to stay indoors following the incident – but Berbatov wasn’t shocked by Mourinho’s actions.
Berbatov told Betfair: “Jose Mourinho has admitted he was wrong to hold an informal training session with three Tottenham players on Hadley Common in north London.
“He did it because he is impatient for football to return, and I understand that, but he’s broken the social distancing rules and that’s not good. Footballers and managers are in an influential position in society and they need to set an example to their fans in this very difficult situation.
“I can’t say I was particularly surprised by Mourinho’s behaviour. He has always operated outside the box and that’s one of the reasons he’s been successful and fans love him. But this is different. Hopefully, although it was a mistake to hold this session on the common, Mourinho and his players were still keeping a safe distance from each other.
“I can see why Mourinho would be desperate to get back to work. Everyone in football wants the game to return as soon as possible. When you hear that other leagues are already setting a date for when they will resume, then you become even more impatient to get back – but public health comes first.
“For players, sitting at home, trying to stay fit, is difficult because they want to be as sharp as possible when the season restarts. Footballers are in a fortunate position, though, compared to most people. Many players live in large houses with gardens so they can improvise training routines at home, with weights for example, but it’s not the same and it isn’t easy to stay focused.”