“It’s like we are in a school” – But bickering players could start FA Cup game Pochettino admits

Mauricio Pochettino spent the majority of his press conference answering questions about the incident in the second half today where Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson tried to force the ball off Cole Palmer so they could take a penalty.

It was embarrassing to the point of unsavoury, and Pochettino was quite clearly furious that he had to spend his evening talking about it when his team had just won 6-0.

“After the unbelievable game that we were playing from the beginning, to talk today about that, it’s a shame and it’s an unacceptable thing. We don’t deserve to talk about that. I apologise to the fans and to the people because the way we behave. It’s part of the process,” the coach said.

Moving on to Saturday

But after brushing off questions about whether the pair had apologised (which makes it sound like they haven’t, not yet anyway), Pochettino was given a harder question – would he be punishing them by changing his team selection on Saturday.

He denied this of course, although it wasn’t a total no:

“No, no. It doesn’t work like this. They are not experienced players that they really know what they are doing. They are young, they are kids and they need to experience some situations to learn,” Pochettino said.

“It’s like we are in a school. It’s now to show that they are wrong and now they need to learn. If they don’t learn, yes, after we will take some decisions. But now it’s about to learn, it’s to use this type of experience to go on and move on.”

He can say that all he likes – how could he disregard what he saw tonight totally though?

Jackson’s place is safe, he’s not got any competition. But Madueke was battling hard for every minute, and had just started two Premier League games in a row. He’s got competition, and may regret being involved in this at all.

Pochettino will pick the team he thinks has the best chance of winning – but he can’t deny this will factor into his thinking.


1 Comment

  1. It’s Madueke’s second time doing this. He’s obviously not in this for the team. Let him think about it from the bench!

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