Pochettino rants about player injuries


Tottenham Hotspur extended their winning streak to three games in all competitions yesterday with a routine 2-0 away victory against Huddersfield Town.

Two Harry Kane goals were enough to see off the struggling Premier League side, but the game wasn’t without casualties for Pochettino’s men.

Both Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele were removed at half time due to injury problems, as they joined the list of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm on the injury table.

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that many of these players made it to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia this summer, and are now picking up muscle injuries during a busy part of the season.

The injuries come at an awful time for Tottenham, as they face their biggest game of the season on Wednesday when Spanish giants Barcelona come to town.

Spurs are taking on Barca in the Champions League, and will be looking for a win after conceding two late goals and three points to Inter Milan in game week one.

Barcelona aren’t without their own problems however, as a draw at home yesterday saw their winless run extend to three games.

Pochettino seemed frustrated by the unlucky injuries on Spurs’ books ahead of the tie.

Football London report the Tottenham boss said: “Sometimes you are in a period where that happens for different reasons or circumstances. Sometimes it’s about luck. But we’ll see if they are injured. We work a lot and this is our fifth year here. I think we try to help. The circumstances of this season.

“It’s a massive challenge for everyone, not just us. There are a lot of teams who have the same problem. I repeat, the players are not machines. You want to push and push and push them and it’s not easy. Of course nobody helps because everyone wants every single game playing the same players.

“If you manage the recovery, you manage them, it’s a massive problem, a big problem because one is in London another is playing and the other is in the squad. It creates a problem and it’s not easy.

“I think for us it’s a little bit unlucky that we have the risk in different players for different reasons. It’s higher or lower, but I think all the teams that had players in the World Cup are going to have a problem with this type of thing, now and in the future of course.”

One journalist asked if the busy Premier League scheduling was to blame: “I think it’s not Premier League, look at the competitions.

“The players finish the World Cup and rest for a few weeks and then start the Premier League. Then the first international game they play again, two games, but not friendly games. They play for the UEFA Nations League. It’s normal all the national teams want the best players to play. Who cares about the players? It’s so difficult. It’s not to complain for complain.

“It’s just that we need the squad, 24, 25 players ready to play and happy and ready. That is why I sometimes am so upset about some comments or questions because why? Today if Wanyama or Harry Winks are not ready to play what happens?

“If we disrespect these type of players who are fighting to find their place in the team, how after we demand or expect the best to help you to win the three points? Because the three points today is the same as three points in Inter Milan, or will be against Barcelona or against Cardiff. That is the point. I don’t want to argue with you but the most important is trying to help the players.

“When we rest the players it’s because we feel they need to rest. Then there are tactical decisions or I like one player more than another but the most important is understanding that they are not machines and we need to protect them and help them. It’s not easy because nobody helps the players to be calm and relaxed. Always if they don’t play it’s because some problem happens.

“If he plays he’s playing too much, or rest because needs rest or doesn’t need to rest.”

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  1. We went into this season with players coming back from long term injuries and others who had hardly any adequate rest during the summer. Those players participating in the final stages of the world cup were always going to be prone to niggling injuries in the first half of the season yet we sat on our cheque book. Meanwhile the likes of Leicester snap up Maddison and previously Maguire, young, English and in today’s terms relatively cheap. Where is our scouting system in this country? Are we too busy scraping the French, Dutch and South American leagues for ‘bargains’!


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