One Premier League manager welcomed back a World Cup winner after this summer; only to find the glow of their glorious Russian glory wear off quickly.
A man who is supposed to be a leader in the team is embroiled in an off-pitch issue and underperforming on it to provide his boss with a headache he really doesn’t need.
That could easily be the tale of Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. But it is also true of Hugo Lloris and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
The Argentine also has to cope with an additional layer of complexity; his man has disgraced the club by doing something illegal and shameful.
Perhaps it is testament to Pochettino’s man-management skills that the problems surrounding his captain have not blown up in the same way as Pogba’s.
However, it is also arguable that the wrong man was stripped of his captain’s duties. Lloris’ indiscretion was far greater than Pogba’s.
After Lloris’ headloss after just two minutes of last night’s 4-2 defeat to Barcelona, perhaps he has been rushed back. Paulo Gazzaniga performed admirably in the Frenchman’s absence; and is not injured, out of form or dealing with off-pitch scandal.
Lloris should be giving Pochettino a bigger headache than Pogba is giving Mourinho.