Mauricio Pochettino has redefined Tottenham and is entitled to be disappointed with fans booing his decision to take Lucas Moura off against PSV

loading...

MAURICIO POCHETTINO is entitled to feel disappointed with Tottenham fans who booed his decision to replace Lucas Moura on Tuesday.

The Argentine boss should have more than enough credit with Spurs supporters for turning them into a team with aspirations of finishing in the top four every season.

Oncoming Erik Lamela shakes hands with Lucas Moura after the substitution that irked Spurs fans
Oncoming Erik Lamela shakes hands with Lucas Moura after the substitution that irked Spurs fans
Reuters

Poch is one of the world’s most wanted coaches, with Manchester United and Real Madrid just two of the clubs to make direct approaches for him over the past three years.

Jeering his decision to replace Lucas with Erik Lamela after 62 minutes, when Tottenham were trying to find a way back into the Champions League tie with PSV Eindhoven, is a dangerous road to go down.

Poch has redefined Spurs, even if results and performances have dipped a little this season.

The delay to the opening of the new stadium at White Hart Lane, along with the failure to bring in any new players over the summer, are certainly mitigating factors.

Spurs fans were unhappy to see Lucas Moura go off, with Erik Lamela replacing him
Spurs fans were unhappy to see Lucas Moura go off, with Argentine wideman Erik Lamela replacing him
Getty Images – Getty

Even so, for Spurs fans to question Pochettino’s judgement and decision-making over an attacking substitution felt odd.

It was a positive move, a change designed to bring another creative element to the team after a frustrating hour at Wembley.

Poch’s record at Spurs is good, with the majority of supporters still onside, after establishing them as one of English football’s most powerful clubs.

They went on to beat PSV, with Harry Kane’s intervention giving them a lifeline in those final few crazy minutes at Wembley.

Harry Kane turned things round for Spurs with a matchwinning double late on
Harry Kane turned things round for Spurs with a matchwinning double late on
EPA

Those goals, giving them a 2-1 victory over Mark van Bommel’s resilient team, have given Spurs an outside shot at knockout football in the Champions League at the turn of the year.

Pochettino has put them in that position, with fixed and firm ideas on how he wants them to play.

No doubt he wants to see the job through, to find a way to win the big prizes in the game.

Getting on his case over one substitution is not the way to help him do it.

Plans in Roo-in

IT IS a shame Gareth Southgate and the FA have fallen for a cynical marketing ploy to keep Wayne Rooney in the spotlight.

DC United will be delighted with this regrettable PR stunt because Rooney will become the first player in their history to turn out for England.

Quite how remains to be seen, though, because England boss Southgate has to manage a game against the USA to make sure the former Three Lions striker gets on the pitch.

Playing Wayne Rooney at some time will cause will give England manager Gareth Southgate a selection headache
Playing Wayne Rooney at some time will cause will give England manager Gareth Southgate a selection headache

If the scoreline at Wembley is unfavourable on Thursday after, say, 70 minutes, he could well have to turn to newbie Callum Wilson and say ‘Sorry, fella, you know how it is’, before turning to a retired international footballer for his farewell.

That is one of the reasons Roo was originally scheduled to lead the team out to play the first 30 minutes before leaving the field to a standing ovation.

Instead, this fawning tribute has already turned into an unforgettable experience — for the wrong reason.

Les said the better

FRASER FORSTER would have been one of the first Southampton players to sign Les Reed’s leaving card yesterday.

One of Reed’s big calls was to give the club’s third-choice keeper a five-year contract worth £95,000 a week last year.

The Saints vice-chairman, who had been desperately trying to manufacture a dignified exit from St Mary’s for months, was finally sacked by chairman Ralph Krueger because of the club’s disastrous form.

Now that Reed has gone, they can go back to The Southampton Way.

Link

(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *