Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has insisted that off-field controversy does not concern him in regards to both contentious new signing Serge Aurier and Dele Alli, who was the subject of criticism recently due to an incident during England’s 2-1 win over Slovakia.
Spurs face Everton away from home at 3pm on Saturday some two weeks after successive disappointment at Wembley Stadium.
However, most of the pre-match talk has been about widely disputed incidents concerning Tottenham players Serge Aurier and Dele Alli, rather than football.
Serge Aurier’s arrival at the club has been met with some concern, as the 24 year old had been involved in a homophobic scandal as well as an assault on a police officer prior to joining Spurs from PSG on deadline-day for £23 million.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Mauricio Pochettino declared however that he is not even remotely worried about Aurier’s controversial past.
“He has a lot of experience in Europe,” He told reporters. “He played Champions League for PSG. He will give competition to Kieran Trippier. It’s a position we needed to improve.”
“He is 24, young, and now it’s important he arrives this afternoon and starts to adapt to his new club. He is here to help us.”
“I am a person that likes to move on,” He added, when pressed on Aurier’s off-field antics. “I am the first to make mistakes in my life.”
“It’s important to have the opportunity to learn. We had a long chat. We talked about different things. He knows what we expect from him.”
“It’s important how every player behaves here. Our dynamic needs to be good. I trust in him, I am confident he can help us. It’s not an issue for me what has happened in the past.”
“You judge someone from the day you meet them. We start from zero and I think it’s exciting to have him here and it’s a new chapter in his life to show all that he has inside.”
Pochettino was then quizzed over issues regarding Dele Alli’s gesture to Kyle Walker during England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, which was caught on camera.
The Argentine however also quashed any suggestion that the 21 year old will face, or even deserves to face, any retrospective punishment from FIFA.
“I’m not worried,” He declared. “He told the media it was a joke with Kyle Walker.”
“It’s true it’s not a fantastic gesture but it was a joke in a moment with his team-mate. For FIFA it will not be a big issue and it won’t be for us.”
“Weird things happen on the pitch. There are maybe 50 cameras on the players. It is not a big issue and he does not deserve to be banned.”
“It’s important here to move on,” He added. “We have in the past things that happen when you are young. Dele is improving a lot.”
“It was a joke with a team-mate. He was unlucky because the camera saw it. We don’t need to make the situation bigger.”
Pochettino then took time to address a claim made by Spurs legend Ricky Villa that injured winger Erik Lamela will never play football for Tottenham again, stating instead that the 25 year old is ‘happy’ and ‘working hard’ on his recovery.
“I didn’t hear Ricky Villa’s quotes. We have a very good relationship.” He began.
“Erik we are happy with his rehab and we expect early October for him to join the team to start training with us. We will decide when he can play.”
“We translate to our fans Erik is in a good mood, happy and doing everything to be fit.”
Lamela has been left out of Tottenham’s 21-man Champions League squad and has less than a year left on his contract.
Although, the good news here is that Lamela will apparently be returning to training early next month.
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