Tottenham Hotspur have left two key players in London ahead of their trip to play Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
[ MORE: Is Harry Kane tired? ]
Mauricio Pochettino has decided not to take Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld to Italy for “technical reasons” as Spurs will be without several stars for their UCL opener against Inter. Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko are also out injured.
Speaking at the San Siro to the media on Monday, Pochettino was guarded when asked exactly why he has left Trippier and Alderweireld behind.
“I never punish players because you win or lose. It is always the plan. The plan is to keep them there and use different players to play tomorrow,” Pochettino explained. “We are going to play with different players tomorrow. We believe the best decision is to play with different players.”
What is going on here?
Trippier was one of the best right backs at the 2018 World Cup and was a star for England, while Alderweireld is no doubt a veteran leader in Spurs’ defense. Tottenham had a rough time, especially defensively, against Liverpool at the weekend and although Trippier and Alderweireld weren’t directly to blame, this could point to them suffering from fatigue.
Spurs have been impacted by the World Cup more than any other PL team as the majority of the regular starting lineup went to the latter stages of the tournament in Russia, then returned to Tottenham without a preseason.
Harry Kane‘s fitness has been questioned but this decision from Pochettino suggests he may rotate his squad heavily in the coming weeks as he tries to keep his star players fit and fresh.