'My players aren't sh*t!' – Pochettino blasts back at Spurs selection calls

The Tottenham boss has not taken kindly to seeing the strength of his squad questioned on the back of a dramatic 2-1 Champions League defeat to Inter

Mauricio Pochettino has launched an impassioned defence of his Tottenham squad, with the Argentine not taking kindly to the suggestion that he brought in “sh*t” players against Inter.

Spurs opened their 2018-19 Champions League campaign away at San Siro on Tuesday.

All appeared to be going well when Christian Eriksen’s deflected effort opened the scoring, but a dramatic finish from the hosts saw Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino turn the tie on its head .

Pochettino’s decision to leave key men at home was queried after the final whistle, with Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld not making the trip to Italy due to “technical reasons” .

That line of questioning did not sit well with Tottenham’s head coach, with the 46-year-old launching into a defensive rant.

He said: “Against Watford and against Liverpool, they were on the pitch. 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 sh*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.”

Defeat at Inter means Spurs have now suffered three successive defeats in all competitions for the first time under Pochettino .

They will get an opportunity to snap that run on Saturday when they return to Premier League action with a trip to Brighton.

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