Mauricio Pochettino offered something of a spiky response when he was questioned by the media about his Tottenham Hotspur team selection following the match against Wolves on Saturday night.
Spurs left Molineux with all three points following a nervy 3-2 victory against the Premier League newcomers.
It looked as if the away side were cruising after Harry Kane had put them 3-0 ahead on 68 minutes. Up until that moment, Juan Foyth was having a solid match on his Premier League debut, but then gave away both the penalties that Wolves successfully converted.
The final eleven minutes were tense for the Spurs fans who were in the away end, but managed to ride out some late pressure from Nuno Espírito Santo’s side.
Mousa Dembele had to be replaced with Heung-min Son after just seven minutes and the South Korean was later substituted to his amazement in the 59th minute for Christian Eriksen.
After Pochettino’s squad had played against Manchester City on Monday evening and a further match on Wednesday against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup, the manager told the press that it was common sense for him to make changes.
He told Football.London when questioned about if Son was taken off to be fresh for the match against PSV on Tuesday: “I explain now again. We played Monday, we played Wednesday. Son played Wednesday or not?”
The journalist replied confirming so, leaving Pochettino to add: “And he scored twice and played how many minutes?”
Again, the journalist confirmed that Son played the full game, to which the manager added further: “The whole game, 90 minutes. Today we played with Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane. On Wednesday Lucas Moura didn’t play and was on the bench. Erik Lamela was not involved and neither was Harry Kane. Then from the beginning after a few minutes we got one player injured, Mousa Dembele. Mousa was out and Son came in. It was like he started from the beginning of the game. Then after 60 minutes I’m going to change a player who a few days ago played 90 minutes because I thought other players were more fresh than Son. It’s not a problem. I think it’s common sense no? Yes? Okay, thank you very much.”
Pochettino received further questioning about Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Davinson Sanchez who were all absent from the starting eleven and did not mince his words: “Okay I explain. Davinson Sanchez played Monday and Wednesday 90 minutes and I think to play today and to play Tuesday and Saturday should be a big risk, a big, big risk. Then I think I was so happy with Juan Foyth and Toby wasn’t involved in the Carabao Cup. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, if you follow us, they came from injuries and we need to be clever in the way that we manage. That’s it. For me it doesn’t exist these big players. For me it’s a big team, a big squad. The depth of the squad we are showing against West Ham and today and a team like Manchester City came here and only drew. I think we need to give more value to the squad. Nobody talks about Sissoko, or different players that are doing a fantastic job like Ben Davies or Harry Winks. They are playing a lot. Always we try to find big players. All are big players, all are big players. I don’t like to say big players. I want you to talk about all the players with the same respect and all are important. Tottenham are going to win with one or another name if we have the right mentality. If we have the big names and no mentality we are not going to win. We are to be weak, only names on the pitch.”
Tottenham fans will be intrigued to see what side Pochettino picks for Tuesday night’s crunch Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven at Wembley.
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