When Tottenham Hotspur kicked off the 2019/20 Premier League campaign at home to Aston Villa, some fans were left surprise with an omission from the squad.
Mauricio Pochettino decided to leave Jan Vertonghen to watch the game on from the west stand of the 62,062 capacity stadium as his team-mates battled from behind to win 3-1.
The Belgian was back in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Manchester City but was an unused substitute with Pochettino instead deciding to stick with his central defensive partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez for a second successive match.
With the 32-year-old now within the last twelve months of his contract in North London, it has raised suspions that there is more to the situation than meets the eye.
Former Spurs goalkeper Paul Robinson has suggested that Vertonghen and Pochettino have had some sort of disagreement behind the scenes.
Pochettino told the media after the match against Villa that there are no issues between the pair (BBC), with Robinson believing otherwise.
During an appearance on Match Centre on Sky Sports News (21/08/2019 at 10:40 am) Robinson said: “Well, there’s clearly a problem there,”
“There’s an issue between him and the manager. There must be some kind of issue.
“The way that he played at the back end of last season, the first leg against Ajax, he was like a warrior, he was like a man possessed. He’s an experienced pro, who’ll have his opinions in the dressing room, whether he or Pochettino have clashed, I don’t know.
“He’s not playing through lack of ability because he was an almost ever-present last season when he was fit. There’s clearly an issue or clash of personality, or he has said or done something that has upset the manager.”
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