EFL Cup: Mauricio Pochettino baffled by obsession over Tottenham team selection

Jonathan Veal
The Independent

Mauricio Pochettino cannot understand why people get so obsessed with team selection in this country.

The Tottenham boss clashed with journalists last week after he was questioned about his decision to leave Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld at home for their Champions League game at Inter Milan.

He is planning on making more changes for Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash with Watford in Milton Keynes and does not think he should come under scrutiny.

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"Of course we want to win but if you say the same question to the manager of Watford, why he picked 11 different players against Reading (in the last round), with the risk to lose, when they didn't play European competition, and we are involved in the Champions League," he said.

"We have a lot of games ahead. I think we rotate, trying to find the best solution to try to win games.

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"But the obsession here in England is to try to disrespect the players who play in one or another competition, and for me it's so difficult to understand.

"It's like we disrespect the competition or we don't take it seriously. I think when Tottenham are going to play tomorrow, we are going trying to win.

"When you sign players and you have 24 players in your squad, you need to respect all the players. If not, if they're going to have the possibility to play and show their quality, why do you pay their salary, why do you provide the food every day at the training ground?

"Sorry, but for me it's so difficult to understand, that obsession about why one or another plays. It's like all the managers want to lose. No one wants to win."


Pochettino is planning on making more changes for Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash with Watford

Pochettino believes former players in a pundit role are some of the worst offenders for discussing the topic.

"I think it's crazy and the problems sometimes is not from the media. But sometimes some people who play football and were professionals.

"Their opinion is similar and it's difficult to understand, because I was a professional player and now a manager, and you need to understand that to deal with 24 or 25 players is not easy.

"To give the possibility to play to all the players always is so important because they need to feel the confidence and trust. They need to challenge the players they believe are ahead of them.

"In the end for me it's about the squad. It's about being a team. If you want to win some competitions you can win or lose with one or with another.

"I repeat again, I don't understand the obsession with asking about the players that are going to play in one or another competition because when we are going to play tomorrow, or Saturday, or Wednesday, or I don't know, always it's Tottenham that's going to play, and your honour.

"But of course I understand you and everyone needs to find always some reason to talk."

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