Pochettino’s Press Conference: Southampton vs Tottenham

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 4: Tottenham Hotspur Manager Mauricio Pochettino during a press conference at the clubs' training ground on November 4, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 4: Tottenham Hotspur Manager Mauricio Pochettino during a press conference at the clubs' training ground on November 4, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images) /

On Friday afternoon Tottenham manager conducted his press conference to preview Spurs’ road fixture against Southampton on December 28th.

What has become a standard practice during Mauricio Pochettino’s press conferences, detailing his player’s fitness levels prior to discussing everything else, the Argentine manager gave a quick briefing on who is able to participate and who isn’t.

A quick note, it’s basically everyone except for Érik Lamela. Though he was spotted sitting on Spurs’ bench during a home game against Burnley.

“It’s still too far ahead but still Érik Lamela will be out, maybe Vincent Janssen will recover and be available to be selected and then everything is okay. Toby Alderweireld is okay, he is training well and he will be good.” Pochettino said.

And what about Mousa Dembélé you might ask? He’s fine.

“Dembélé is okay, he has been training very well. At the moment it’s only Lamela [who is out]. With Janssen, we hope that he will be good, Toby is okay, only Lamela will not be available for Southampton.” Mauricio Pochettino continued.


For only the second time in December, Tottenham will travel on the road, going down to the south coast to face Southampton. It’s yet another brief reunion for Mauricio Pochettino who spent one season managing the Saints and to see Jay Rodriguez playing once again.

“It’s always special to go back to Southampton. It was a very special place for me and for my family because I had the possibility to start my career in England and in the Premier League there.” Pochettino said.

“I think it will always be a special place for me, [there are] a lot of people that we have a good relationship with, it will always be special for me and it’s a good opportunity to see all my friends there.”

One of those people that Mauricio Pochettino has a good relationship with is Jay Rodriguez who has made only 14 appearances this season in all competitions. Against Bournemouth, Rodriguez picked up a brace in place of Charlie Austin who is currently injured. It’s a moment that touched the 44-year-old who used to coach the English striker three years ago.

“I’m very happy [for him]. I sent him a text, I was very happy to see him enjoy [his football] on the pitch again.” Pochettino added.

“He got a very bad injury, I remember it well – we have that day very fresh in our minds against Manchester City at the Etihad but he’s a top player, a top man and we were very happy to see him enjoy [his football] again and score against Bournemouth.”

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“Now we will suffer because he will be our enemy and our opponent but I am very happy that he is back and recovering his level because not only is he a top player, he’s a top person too.”

Staying on the topic of strikers, a question came up about Harry Kane’s lack of goals lately. Despite, you know, the fact that Kane came back strong with six goals in six games in all competitions from November 6th through December 7th.

While Kane is Spurs’ main goalscoring threat — and has been since he became a full-time starter — Tottenham are still able to win games when the 23-year-old doesn’t find the back of the net.

It’s more difficult yes, but nothing that should be worth worrying about.

“No, I am not worried about him. I always repeat the same – for me he is one of the best strikers in the world. For different reasons maybe he didn’t score in the last few games but there’s no doubt that it’s only a few games. He’s a fantastic player, he’s a top scorer and I have no doubt he will start to score as soon as possible.” Mauricio Pochettino insisted.

Lastly one interesting tidbit from this press conference is what both Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm’s contract extensions have to do with Pau López. It’s unfortunate that Pochettino’s answer was short and didn’t reveal much information but he did hint at López’ situation though.

“No, it’s nothing to do with Pau. The three keepers are in different situations, different positions, different levels. Pau is more about the present and future but the contracts are nothing to do with Pau.”

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The “present and future” sounds like Spurs might try to make the 22-year-old’s loan move permanent. It would make no sense to bring the Spaniard in temporarily and offer him no playing time for the first five months.

With Mauricio Pochettino knowing the young goalkeeper since his days as Espanyol manager and promoting him to the first team, while showing interest to sign him on loan, surely Pochettino will eventually keep Pau López on a long-term deal to secure Tottenham’s future shot stopper.