Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier has told France Football that he was upset during Mauricio Pochettino’s reign as manager, who has since been sacked and immediately replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Of Tottenham’s first 17 league and cup appearances this season, which were managed by Pochettino, Aurier managed just nine appearances. But since Mourinho’s arrival, Aurier has started all but one of Tottenham’s 15 Premier League matches.
Indeed, the 60-time Ivory Coast international was handed just 24 appearances in his first season at Spurs following his move from Paris Saint-Germain. Clearly, he was not fancied by Pochettino – or not as much as Mourinho does now.
Aurier has improved under Mourinho – indeed six of his eight goal involvements have come under Mourinho this season. Speaking about the Argentine boss, Aurier stated he was “upset” under Pochettino during 2017-18.
“Last season, we reached the Champions League final where I actively participated throughout, I played almost all the matches,” Aurier said. “There are things people don’t see because you don’t show yourself enough.
“The first year, the coach did not make me play a lot, but I never went into his office to complain, I never showed a funny face. I wasn’t playing, I was upset, but I did not show it.”
TBR’s view – Was Pochettino to blame for Aurier’s poor form?
Not particularly. Indeed, during 2017-18, Kieran Trippier was in stunning form and the ex-Manchester City defender was clearly first choice ahead of Aurier. It culminated in some stunning performances at the 2018 World Cup.
But Trippier’s form plummeted in 2018-19 – opening the door for Aurier. However, Pochettino used both, rotating his right-back options and ultimately, that saw both struggle to gain any momentum. Aurier, though, was a liability.
However, now he has the faith and trust of Mourinho and that seems to be the answer in finding his best form.