With emotions high following Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan in our Group B Champions League opener last night, manager Mauricio Pochettino slightly lost his usual cool when dealing with the media in his post-game press conference.
Football.London are one of many to carry his words from yesterday evening, so you can read them in full there.
Suffice to say, he wasn’t happy being asked if he regretted the decision to leave Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier out of the travelling squad given the final result and he took the opportunity to bite.
But he had a point.
It was an easy question and in a largely good performance, we were punished harshly at the end, so implying – after back to back defeats already – that the game wouldn’t have turned that way is about as useful as debating how long a piece of string is.
He was also spot on in pointing out that if he even tried to answer that question, by default, he’d be criticising and disrespecting the players he did choose – he probably did just that in the privacy of the dressing room following the fulltime whistle, but you don’t do it in public.
And he was also right to twist the conversation to him in terms of criticism for his selection, as at the end of the day, that’s his job and he takes the flak – as he is from some quarters.
“When my decision is to play with XI, you must respect my decision because I am the manager. You cannot disrespect. You show too much disrespect for the players who play in the position as the players you have given me the names of now. I don’t understand. Sorry. You are so kind people, but I don’t understand why. Why? Please. To be a player is so difficult, and of course for me it is easier on the touchline. I don’t run. It is so painful to hear when some people are not here, and you judge in that way and you kill players who give their best. It’s so unfair.”
Probably wise he stays off social media!
Plenty will criticise him for losing his cool and biting, but given Poch always tries to maintain an ‘air’ around him, I actually quite liked that. Nothing wrong with a bit of passion and spirit in my book.
What matters now, is he got up fresh today, put it behind him and focuses back on the task at hand – if his anger motivates him a little bit more, great. As long as it doesn’t become a distraction.