Mauricio Pochettino has accused reporters of disrespecting his players following Tottenham’s Champions League defeat to Inter Milan on Tuesday.
Spurs conceded two goals in the last five minutes of their Champions League group stage opener at the San Siro, losing 2-1 for the third successive game in all competitions following Premier League defeats to Watford and Liverpool.
The visitors were the better side for most of the second half, a fact that left the Tottenham manager feeling “disappointed and annoyed” at the final whistle.
Pochettino took the decision to leave Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier at home for the trip to Italy and didn’t respond well to questions about his reasons for doing so after the game.
“Against Watford and against Liverpool, they were on the pitch,” Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference when asked about Spurs’ absentees (via Sky Sports).
“Wow, what a question, such an easy question eh? You know, easy target. (It’s) easy to talk about the players that aren’t here.
“I think we need to talk about football. Because, you know I think you force me to say something that is not good. You disrespect the players that today showed better qualities than the opponent.
“Why disrespect the players that aren’t on the pitch? You can blame me and say, ‘Gaffer, you were so, so rubbish in your selection of the starting XI’. But please don’t disrespect the players who were playing, because it’s my decision. Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld… we have 25 players.
“And you believe that and sometimes you behave like you ask me with your question, that you can play only 11 and the other 13 or 14 players are rubbish, are s**t. Sorry, but I am so disappointed because I am a person that respects you a lot and the players.
“When my decision is to play with XI, you must respect my decision because I am the manager. You show too much disrespect for the players who play in the position as the players you have given me the names of now.
“I don’t understand. Sorry. You are so kind people, but I don’t understand why. Why? Please. To be a player is so difficult, and of course for me it is easier on the touchline. I don’t run. It is so painful to hear when some people are not here, and you judge in that way and you kill players who give their best. It’s so unfair.”
Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez came in for Trippier and Alderweireld and didn’t do too much wrong as Tottenham fell to an undeserved defeat.
The Londoners were wasteful going forward given their dominance for long spells, with Harry Kane missing their best chance in the first half.