Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is thinking about leaving out the 9 players who reached the World Cup semi-finals for the club’s first two Premier League matches against Newcastle and Fulham. The Argentine thinks that it is almost impossible for these players to start the first two matches. These players include Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris and Delle Alli among others. Kane and Alli have already returned to training. The other 7 players will join them today.
Pochettino said, “It would be better for these players to miss the first one or two games than to play and end up getting injured and missing more games further down the line. It’s a massive challenge for these players to get fit in time for the Newcastle game. Almost impossible. If we feel it is too much of a risk to play these players then, no matter how much work they have been doing, we will not play them. Simple as that.”
Dele Alli posted a picture of him training when on vacation. Pochettino said that the picture nearly moved him to tears. The 46-year old said, “I messaged him, saying he was showing great commitment. He said ‘Gaffer, I want to be ready for Newcastle’. I told him ‘Thank you, but you need to rest because 20 days off is the minimum time to have off at the end of a season to ensure a full recovery’.”
“It shows great commitment, but we will assess all of the returning players on Monday — and we will not be taking any risks. It is going to be a long season and we need to ensure that the players have had the right amount of recovery before starting it.”
Tottenham Hotspur begin their Premier League campaign on Saturday against Newcastle United at St.James Park.