Tottenham: Spurs gunning for win; Pochettino's diving claim; goalkeeper rumours gather pace
Despite Tottenham crashing out of the Champions League after losing at group leaders Monaco last month, the North Londoners are in a strong position to secure safe passage into the Europa League by finishing third in their group. They stand a point ahead of bottom club CSKA Moscow going into the clash against the Russians at Wembley, with a superior head-to-head record having secured a 1-0 win in the Russian capital already this campaign.
Having already lost both of their Champions League fixtures at Wembley this season, where Spurs have played out their European games during redevelopments at White Hart Lane, a draw in this instance would fortunately be enough to see their European exploits continue elsewhere.
A draw wouldn’t be enough to satisfy Christian Eriksen however, with the Danish midfielder claiming that Spurs are desperate for a Wembley win to go into the Europa League on a high and give something back to the fans, according to a report in the London Evening Standard.
Quoting the midfielder, the report by the Evening Standard‘s Sam Long reads:
“We haven’t won yet at Wembley, we want to finish with a win and give something back to the fans – and take something for us as well by getting those three points”.
Pochettino had already admitted that his side “needed” a victory after losing to Chelsea and going out of the Champions League, and Eriksen elaborated on the comments made by his manager, claiming that their most recent win over Swansea in the Premier League has solidified Tottenham’s desire to go on another winning run.
“There always has been that feeling. After a win you always get more confident, you want to go for it and keep going,” he said.
“Now we’ve kicked off with a good start to December and hopefully it will be a good month.”
Inside the club following the Swansea victory, in a report from Sky Sports, manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he won’t sanction midfielder Dele Alli, after video footage proved that he had dived to earn the penalty which helped Spurs break the deadlock against the Swans as half-time approached, at a point when the game was still tight.
“It’s too difficult to advise because you cannot recreate in the future the same situation and you cannot advise, ‘Don’t fall down or…”, it’s too difficult,” Pochettino said.
“It’s too difficult to work like that. Dele is how he is. I didn’t talk with him and I need to speak with him to know what happened in that situation. Maybe he will say, ‘okay I fell down but I didn’t mean to dive but the referee believed it was a penalty’, or it wasn’t his intention, but it’s difficult now.”
Not only did the Argentine opt out of cautioning Alli for the theatrical tumble after being upended by former Spurs defender Kyle Naughton, but he also made the claim that English players as a whole dive just as much as foreign players.
He recalled his own ‘foul’ as a player when featuring for Argentina against England during the 2002 World Cup, when Michael Owen hit the turf after making contact with the Spurs’ boss’ trailing leg. Referee Pierluigi Collina pointed to the spot, and David Beckham duly converted for a famous England win.
“It was 15 years ago when Owen dived,” Pochettino said. “Don’t believe that English football is fair play always because Owen jumped like he was in a swimming pool. Come on. I didn’t touch him. I promise you. It’s true.
“I think today football is more global. England is more like European football. Now we have the influence of the Latin people that try to cheat always.
“Maybe you were more pure 20, 25, 30 years ago. Now you are like us.”
Elsewhere, on the transfer front, the Guardian and Sunderland Echo have now chipped in as reports gather momentum regarding the club’s links to goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jordan Pickford, with the future of Hugo Lloris still uncertain.
These latest developments add fuel to the fire of yesterday’s reports, and with a list of apparently growing suitors for Spurs’ current goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, and the latest reports back-up the claim that the drawback of Joe Hart’s wages would make Jordan Pickford the first choice candidate in any transfer.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Ra?it Özdemir.
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