There is no better goalkeeper in the Barclays Premier League than Hugo Lloris in Pat Jennings’ opinion, with the Tottenham great backing the Frenchman’s selection ahead of Michel Vorm for the Capital One Cup final.
Sunday brings with it the chance to end a seven-year trophy drought when Mauricio Pochettino’s men line-up against Chelsea at Wembley.
The excitement around north London is palpable, as is the intrigue as to who the Spurs head coach will plump for – particularly in goal.
Summer signing Vorm has played in all five League Cup matches en route to Wembley, although undisputed number one Lloris has, unsurprisingly, said he would like to figure.
Pochettino says he will not allow sentiment to cloud his judgement and fans’ favourite Jennings, a member of Spurs’ hall of fame, believes Lloris would be the wise choice.
“Well, it is up to the manager – that’s what he gets paid for – but obviously you want to play your best team and there is no doubt that Hugo has been absolutely outstanding for us this year,” the former goalkeeper told Press Association Sport.
“Obviously, there is no doubt that Hugo is best, the number one. We are just are fortunate to have such a good back-up.”
Jennings believes Lloris is “without a doubt” the stand-out candidate for Tottenham’s player of the season, despite the exceptional performances of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, and better than any goalkeeper in the English game right now.
“I haven’t seen any (better) this year, certainly not,” Jennings said, speaking ahead of the London Football Awards on March 5, which raises funds for national charity, Willow.
“If you look at the teams that are doing well, the goalkeepers are playing well as well.
“The saves that Hugo has made through the year have been unbelievable.”
Not even the ever-impressive Lloris could help Tottenham avoid exiting the Europa League on Thursday, though.
The France international was twice beaten in Thursday’s defeat at Fiorentina, leading Pochettino’s men to exit at the last-32 juncture 3-1 on aggregate.
There have been understandable concerns that the trip to Italy could damage Spurs mentally and physically when they face Chelsea, but Jennings believes it may actually boost the north London side.
“It depends. It could give them a little bit of a lift as well,” the Northern Irishman said.
“This is a big thing for Tottenham, a big match, so after the disappointment of going out of the Europa League you would hope it would give them more of an incentive to do well.”
Jennings, like so many Spurs greats from down the years, will be at Wembley for a match he believes the players will approach buoyed by the recent 5-3 annihilation of Chelsea.
“It is a massive game,” he said. “Obviously Chelsea are a good team but, having said that, we had a great win against them on New Year’s Day.
“It was a fantastic win that day and that will help the boys in terms of confidence. Each game is different, but at least they know they can beat them – they are beatable.”
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