Mauricio Pochettino won’t be held ransom by the sprialing-out-of-control financial side of the game, not on behalf of, nor in favor of, anyone.
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To whomever at Tottenham Hotspur sanctioned the $39-million signing of midfielder Moussa Sissoko on transfer dealine day, Pochettino won’t have his team selection dictated to him by the steep price tag. To Sissoko, who’s yet to find his way at Tottenham, you won’t be afforded special privileges in an attempt to justify the outlay which acquired your services.
In short, Pochettino isn’t happy with the way Sissoko has applied himself, in games and in training, which culminated in the 27-year-old French international being left at home as Spurs watched their unbeaten start to the 2016-17 Premier League season fall by the wayside at Stamford Bridge on Saturday — quotes from the Guadian:
“Football is not about money. It is about players being better, and that they show on the training ground that they are better than another team-mate and that they deserve to be involved or not. In my opinion, I need to take the decisions and I believe that the players that started in the game [on Saturday] and the players on the bench deserved to be involved in the game. There’s nothing else to it.
“It’s not frustrating for me. It’s about football. We can see in football different things that happen. You sign a player and then you expect something, and you don’t find what you expected … If another deserved to be involved, like maybe [Georges-Kevin] Nkoudou or Josh Onomah, or [Vincent] Janssen, then why not? Just because we pay money [for someone], do they deserve to play? Sissoko needs to work hard and to show in future that he deserves to be on the team.”
Sissoko always seemed an odd signing for Spurs — he ticks none of the boxes that have become the calling card for Pochettino’s side: youth, an unbelievable application of fitness, and a belief that the team is indeed far more important than any individual.