mauricio pochettino tottenham

Tottenham should throw the book at Lloris for drink-driving

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was charged for drink-driving after a routine patrol stop on Friday, August 24. The French international was taken to Charing Cross police station and put in a cell after giving his fingerprints and a DNA swab.

As per the Telegraph, a Metropolitan Police statement said: “A man has been charged following a routine patrol stop in Gloucester Place, W1. Hugo Lloris, 31, of East Finchley, was charged with drink driving on Friday, 24 August. He has been bailed to return to Westminster magistrates’ court on Tuesday 11 September.”

The shot-stopper has since made an apology and Tottenham have stated they will discipline him sternly for the incident, but there are reports suggesting he will still start against Manchester United in Monday night’s trip to Old Trafford. Lloris is club captain and a very important player, but why aren’t Spurs making an example of him?

Drink-driving costs lives, and his actions could have results in casualties. To allow him back into the team would send the wrong message to the players, regardless of how much he’s apologised or is liked among the squad. Had this been committed by a fringe player, there’s no question they’d be dropped.

Ahead of Monday night’s meeting with Manchester United, Tottenham are sixth in the Premier League table with six points from their first two games. Spurs beat Newcastle United (2-1) and Fulham (3-1) and are fancied by many to get a result at Old Trafford.

However, manager Mauricio Pochettino may feel he needs his best goalkeeper to achieve this, rather than trust Michel Vorm. Lloris will certainly receive a big fine for his transgression and could lose the captaincy, but it’s still punishments that are lenient.

Poch has been hard on players in the past, notably dropping Kyle Walker before he eventually left to join Manchester City, but it seems he won’t do the same for Lloris. There could be many supporters whose lives have ben directly or indirectly affected by drink-driving who would welcome a real punishment being dolled out on a player, but Tottenham could resist it.

Lloris missed training with Tottenham the following day because he was in police custody and could yet lose his driving licence in September’s court case. Spurs have a big opportunity to put principles first ahead of Monday night’s game with Manchester United by dropping their captain, but does Pochettino have the guts to do it? Should Tottenham throw the book at Lloris?

Sean dyche

Should Burnley fans be worried about their start to the season?

Burnley suffered a 4-2 defeat away to newly-promoted Fulham on Sunday afternoon, leaving the, 18th in the Premier League with only one point from their first three games.

Sean Dyche’s men finished seventh last season and earned a place in the Europa League qualifiers, but survival might have to be their sole objective this time round.

It’s still early days, but Burnley dropping points to the likes of Southampton (0-0), Watford (1-3) and Fulham (2-4) is worrying. Juggling European football with a domestic campaign would always be difficult, but could the Clarets be in for a testing season?

Summer signings haven’t improved the squad

Burnley’s summer transfers

  • Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) £15.21m
  • Matej Vydra (Derby County) £10.98m
  • Joe Hart (Manchester City) £3.51m

After finished seventh the previous season, it’s not surprising that Burnley kept their spending low the following summer. They strengthened in goal, at centre-back and in attack, spending less than £30m in the process, but only one of their new signings has actually played so far.

Joe Hart has played every league game for Burnley, keeping Tom Heaton on the bench while Nick Pope is out injured, but the former England goalkeeper has shipped seven goals in his three appearances so far.

Ben Gibson has sat on the bench since signing and finds himself behind Ben Mee and James Tarkowski in the centre-back pecking order. Vydra hasn’t made the matchday squad in the league since signing for Burnley – he was named on the bench in their Europa League qualifier against Olympiacos on August 23.

So, Burnley’s summer signings aren’t contributing as of yet, but manager Sean Dyche has blamed the poor start on distractions from their European excursions – Burnley’s season began on July 26 due to the Europa League qualifiers.

Burnley games played so far this season

  • 26/7/18 (Europa League) Aberdeen 1-1 Burnley
  • 2/8/18 (Europa League) Burnley *3-1 Aberdeen
  • 9/8/18 (Europa League) Istanbul Basaksehir 0-0 Burnley
  • 12/8/18 (Premier League) Southampton 0-0 Burnley
  • 16/8/18 (Europa League) Burnley *1-0 Istanbul Basaksehir
  • 19/8/18 (Premier League) Burnley 1-3 Watford
  • 23/8/18 (Europa League) Olympiacos 3-1 Burnley
  • 26/8/18 (Premier League) Fulham 4-2 Burnley

The Clarets would have dreamt of playing in Europe, but it’s turning out to be a nightmare currently. Having to play in Europa League qualifiers has meant a real fixture pile up.

Three days after their trip to face Istanbul Basaksehir, Burnley have to travel to the South Coast to play Southampton. Their defeat to Fulham came just three days after their trip to Greece to face Olympiacos. The travelling has to be having some negative bearing on their results.

Burnley have the return fixture against Olympiacos to come, where they need to overturn a 3-1 aggregate deficit to progress. For the sake of their Premier League campaign, it may not be the worst thing if they failed.

Mourinho Martial

Martial left on the bench in Manchester United’s opening win

Anthony Martial was a spectator on the bench as Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw fired Manchester United to victory in the opening game of the new Premier League season. The French international’s future at Old Trafford is uncertain and being an unused substitute certainly won’t help matters.

Supporters are desperate to see Martial realise his potential at United, but he can’t even get on the pitch to prove his worth. Last season, the 22-year-old managed only five 90-minute appearances in the Premier League and was substituted in 72% of the games he started in.

Mourinho tried to play down the significance of Martial being an unused substitute for the fourth time in United’s last nine league outings, saying: “I want to play Martial, but I can’t. Paul Pogba can’t play 90 (minutes), Fred the same. I need more changes.”

Relationship sour with Mourinho

Martial doesn’t appear to have a healthy relationship with his manager, and things spiralled out of control last season. The French forward took criticism from Mourinho for his form compared to Romelu Lukaku, and saw United being linked to players who would operate in his position if signed – Willian (Chelsea) and Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan) most notably.

During pre-season, he angered Mourinho by failing to report to training for a week to attend the birth of his child, saying “family comes first”. The United manager could have fined him for the breach of discipline and it’s unlikely to have helped tensions between the two.

The last 12 months will do little for Martial’s confidence, with Mourinho actively seeking his replacement in the transfer market and having fallen out over him going AWOL this summer. It could be his last season at Old Trafford unless something changes.

The 22-year-old was named Golden Boy and was a regular in the French national team after a dream debut season at United, but he failed to make the squad that won the 2018 World Cup and finds his career at a crossroads.

Second fiddle despite Alexis continuing to struggle

The biggest insult to Martial is the face Alexis Sanchez continues to start ahead of him despite his woeful form. In United’s opening game against Leicester, the Chilean completed only 65% of his passes, was caught offside more than any of his teammates and failed to make a successful dribble in 90 minutes.

Mourinho may say Martial didn’t come on due to the need to give Fred and Pogba a rest, but this isn’t an isolate incident. It was happening all last season. Martial will be at Old Trafford until at least January, but his future is blurry beyond that.

mauricio pochettino tottenham

Tottenham set ignominious record after transfer inactivity

Tottenham Hotspur have set an ignominious record after their transfer inactivity this summer. The Londoners are the first Premier League club not to buy a player in the transfer window.

On deadline day, they were heavily linked with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, but they didn’t come close to matching his asking price. The England u21 international appeared happy to stay at Villa Park too.

Mauricio Pochettino will have to work with the squad he’s got, which is brimming with talent, but Spurs could struggle this season. Their competitors have all strengthen in the summer and could leave the Lilywhites behind.

Back in May, Pochettino told Tottenham owner Daniel Levy that he “needs to take risks” if he truly wants to win a major honour, saying: “If we want to be real contenders for big, big trophies, we need to review a little. First of all, I need to speak with Daniel, then we will know what we are going to do.

“I think it’s a moment the club needs to take risks and if possible work harder than the previous season to be competitive again.” Pochettino has since been forced to change his stance, calling Levy’s actions “brave”. Citing the new stadium as part of the reason why spending has been stemmed, the Spurs boss believes keeping their best players amounts to a victory in the transfer window.

“Maybe (no summer transfers) looks bad because of the perception. That is our decision – to keep the best players and to keep the squad. It is a brave decision. What the club is doing is showing it is brave. Building a new training ground, finishing the lodge – it was a massive investment. Building a stadium that is nearly £1 billion.

“Of course, maybe in the mind of everyone they will say ‘oh Tottenham did not sign anyone’ but to sign for the sake of signing? It is better to keep your best players”. Tottenham haven’t had the worst summer. Toby Alderweireld stayed for another season, Harry Kane signed a new deal and Pochettino committed his future for the long-term too.

Spurs have finished in the top-three of the Premier League in each of the last three seasons – 70 points in 2015/16, 86 points in 2016/17 and 77 points in 2017/18. They risk losing ground on the competition by not strengthening, but Tottenham have shown they’re no slouches.

They’ll be hoping for a bright start to the season to remind supporters that they’re still a strong outfit, regardless of recruitment.