Mauricio Pochettino explains Moussa Sissoko's importance to Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino says Moussa Sissoko has become one of Tottenham’s most important players – but he believes the Frenchman is still viewed negatively because of his “first impressions” at the club.
Sissoko struggled to find his feet in north London last term, following his £30million move from Newcastle. But he has been heavily involved this season, playing some part in all but one of the Lilywhites’ Premier League fixtures.

Nonetheless, the 28-year-old remains a largely unpopular figure among supporters and is often a scapegoat after poor results. It is something Pochettino would like to change.

“You have to give the credit to him because he’s the only player who gives or provides balance in the team in those transitions – offensive to defensive, defensive to offensive,” said the Spurs manager.

“There is no other player in the team who can provide that. This is the best quality he’s providing to the team. He has been one of the most important players.

READ MORE: Pochettino – I’ll never manage Barca or Arsenal

READ MORE: Coutinho – Barca debut was special

Seri to Man United? No more signings says Mourinho

“Sometimes we all create myths. Most of the time we are not clinical or honest in the way we assess things. Football is interested in many different things.

“Sometimes you think a way about someone because of first impressions, and then they stick forever. I like that you give credit to him because he is doing very well.”

Given Spurs have a number of injury doubts, Sissoko may be given a starting berth against Newport County in Saturday’s FA Cup tie – and goalkeeper Michel Vorm feels the north Londoners have a squad capable of winning trophies.

“Definitely. It’s close, it’s close,” he said. “The FA Cup is something special and we need to realise that, and that’s why we need to keep pushing.

“When we played against Wimbledon in the FA Cup the manager didn’t make too many changes – but we have a strong squad. If you want to compete in all these cups and leagues you have to have a strong squad, and I think we’ve shown it.

“Obviously there are players who play more than others, but I think we’re very competitive with each other, so that’s good.”

Vorm has only played five matches this season, but he could make his second successive start against Newport, having stood in when Hugo Lloris was absent due to illness at Southampton last weekend.

“I’m used to my role and if they need me I’m there,” said the Dutchman. “I train hard every day, I’m fit, I feel good. I’m still excited to be here.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs and visit my Facebook page at