One unexpected omission by manager Mauricio Pochettino when he selected his Tottenham Hotspur starting XI for the Premier League opener against Aston Villa last weekend, was Jan Vertonghen sitting the game out in the stands.
With plenty of claims in the press, not least a recent claim by the Daily Mail that the 32-year-old Belgian centre-half had been left out because his fitness wasn’t right – which then suddenly morphed into unsubstantiated suggestions that the player was now “Fuming” after he was axed – fans can probably safely assume it was tactical.
If the ‘fuming’ reports are right, with the unquoted statements that teammates were surprised to see him remain at the stadium, I’m guessing we’d have seen better photos of his claimed ‘anger’ as he watched on.
Fans were mixed as they took to social media to react to the ongoing reports, but as a few pointed out, we all know Verts is professional and the Manchester City selection will probably tell us the truth of the matter.
Odd one but sure, it’s better than some other reasons
— Abdul ❄️ (DM limit) (@AbdulTHFC) August 13, 2019
Exactly to motivate everyone , called it
— Zeki Kadri (@zeki_kadr) August 13, 2019
Jan is getting old. It takes longer for him to return to full fitness after a break. This may have nothing to do with his commitment. It is a part of aging.
— R.A.Gordon (@RAGordon8) August 13, 2019
Ok good now start him vs city
— ᴀʟᴇx (@_10Kane) August 13, 2019
So 1 more week of training and then he's right as rain?
— ChrisTHFC (@barkerchris931) August 13, 2019
This is probably somewhere close to the truth,Jan did look shocking pre season.
— Manwithnoname…… (@CheekyChap5555) August 13, 2019