Pochettino rubishes claims that Harry Kane gave ‘mental’ half-time team talk

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur came out in the second half against Ajax on Wednesday like a side possessed, after having gone 3-0 down on aggregate in the first 45.

Spurs needed to score three away goals without reply to progress to the Champions League final, and thanks to a Lucas Moura hat-trick, that’s exactly what they did.

Moura slotted home in the 55th, 59th, and 96th minutes to seal a historic Spurs victory on the night, and their first ever Champions League final.

The Daily Star reported after the match that Trippier put the come back partly down to Harry Kane’s half-time speech, in which he went ‘mental’ at his teammates.

However, Mauricio Pochettino has now rubbished these claims, saying that he did most the talking, but that it was ‘ the most relaxed halftime in the last six months.’

He also added that a speech from Hugo Lloris before the Spurs players went out for the second half raised spirits and gave the players drive.

Poch said (Football London): “It surprised me. Listen to Trippier – he didn’t say Harry was talking. It wasn’t a team talk [from Harry]. He was there like Davinson Sanchez or another player not involved. Trippier said ‘his presence’. Harry was there and translated confidence and of course emotion. But to be honest, I was talking. It wasn’t a moment to talk too much. And in the end who lifted them before they went on the pitch was our captain, Hugo Lloris. I remember the words of Hugo Lloris as I was leaving the dressing room. He was shouting, ‘We are close, we need to score one goal more, never give up and try because the moment we score we’re going to be in the tie.’

“First of all, I don’t remember Harry in the dressing room. We give five minutes to the masseur, physio, doctor and sports science. When I arrived, I talked and showed some clips. I think it was the most relaxed halftime in the last six months. I explained today to Danny Rose today. Danny asked me today, ‘Gaffer did you really belief at halftime we could achieve it?’ I said, ‘Yes I was so relaxed’.

“He said were you surprised, I said yes. I was so upset with destiny at this moment. Because the game was even. The difference was they were clinical in front of goal, we conceded and we didn’t score. We check everything – the possession, the metres we run, the attempts, the intensity. In five minutes we checked everything and then we need to explain to the players what we need to do in the second half. It was of course Wanyama out, and Fernando in.

“We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down. That’s why I said, ‘Keep going, be relaxed.’ It wasn’t a teamtalk like Arsenal, when I nearly broke my hand and I needed to scream, and I needed to spark the players. Because the players were focussed. It was a bit unfair. He was there Harry, listening to us. Maybe Trippier loved Harry was there and for himself, it translated confidence. I promise our captain was very good, with the last word and before the game too, with the last word. It’s always our captain who talks after me. Hugo was brilliant.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

Whichever story you believe, it sounds as if Tottenham have got plenty of leaders in that dressing room, which is a fantastic quality to have. The players can’t be afraid to get each other going and show passion, desire, and drive. That is something that should be instilled into the dressing room in every single match.

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