Tottenham Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris Hailed by Pochettino

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur runs through drills during the Tottenham Hotspur training session on March 31, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur runs through drills during the Tottenham Hotspur training session on March 31, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images) /

During Tottenham’s history, they have been blessed to have many great legends wear a lilywhite shirt. And in Hugo Lloris’ case, he is another great player to serve Spurs since he first joined four years ago from Olympique Lyon.

Ahead of France’s showdown with the Republic of Ireland in tomorrow’s quarter-finals match-up between the two nations, Mauricio Pochettino had the time to remind everyone that Hugo Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

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Speaking to L’Equipe (via ESPN FC), the former Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux defender said that Lloris is not only one of the top three best ‘keepers in the world, but that he helps acts as a relay (or bridging the gap) between the coaches and the players on the pitch.

Having a player like that is invaluable for Mauricio Pochettino. And at 29-years-old, the French shot stopper is only the second oldest player on a young squad, with backup goalkeeper Michel Vorm being the oldest at 32.

With a five-year deal that has three more years left after signing a long-term deal when Pochettino became manager on May 2014, Spurs have locked up Lloris for a few more seasons.

"“He [Lloris] is at the peak of his career. He is one of the three best goalkeepers in the world,” Pochettino said.“I only have good things to say about him. He comes in every day with the same hunger, the same desire to progress and to win.”“He makes his teammates shine and he is the perfect relay between a coach and his players. Mentally, he is one of the strongest players I have coached.”"

Those are definitely high praise from Mauricio Pochettino which are well deserved.

Because in 46 appearances split between the Premier League and the Europa League, Hugo Lloris conceded just 45 goals and kept 15 clean sheets. That’s almost a goal per game, which is quite insane to even maintain.

A major reason why the French international was able to see Tottenham pick up 15 shutouts was because of Spurs’ new and improved defense.

Signing Toby Alderweireld (and Kevin Wimmer) to partner up with Jan Vertonghen was the final piece in an already established backline that also consisted of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker. The only question marks mainly resided on Walker’s end and if he would remain healthy for an entire season.

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By a stroke of luck or sheer determination to improve after the signing of Kieran Trippier, the 25-year-old right-back played in 35 total games with 33 in the Premiership as Mauricio Pochettino managed Kyle Walker’s health and minutes.

Rotating the full-backs helped keep players involved in the squad and on top of their games.

And although changes like that could have messed with Lloris’ psyche, because he has to deal with contrasting styles from how Danny Rose and Kyle Walker tend to play compared to Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, he wasn’t fazed.

Just like Mauricio Pochettino said when Lloris comes in every day to progress as a player and win by having that hunger in him. That competitiveness to strive for greatness. And no matter who was playing in front of him, like Wimmer filling in for Vertonghen, Lloris still played great.

Also, another reason why the Frenchman is one of the best at his positions — with the help of Spurs’ defense being very good this past term in the Premiership —  is because out of all the games Tottenham competed in last season, they only conceded more than two goals twice when Hugo Lloris was starting.

Three against Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Europa League’s round of 16 and five against Newcastle United in the final game of the season.

It’s not unheard of to see a team’s defense and their starting goalkeeper put on that kind of performance throughout an entire season, it’s just very difficult to achieve. Though it’s something that Tottenham and their fans saw quite frequently — the joint-number one defense putting in work week-in and week-out.

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Rounding out Pochettino’s interview with L’Equipe, the Argentine manager is vacationing in the Bahamas (though he could be back in England right now), but has stated that he would travel to the Stade de France should the host nation take on England in the quarter-finals.

“If France play England in the quarterfinals I really hope to be at the Stade de France for the match,” Mauricio Pochettino added.

With five Spurs players on England and the sixth representing France, in Hugo Lloris, no doubt that would be a great match to watch should both teams advance and square off against one another.