Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has accused Mauricio Pochettino of ‘wrong-footing’ Hugo Lloris in a tactical sense after the Frenchman produced a howler against Southampton.
With Tottenham Hotspur under pressure following Serge Aurier’s dismissal, Lloris attempted to dribble out from the back during his side’s tentative 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday, but stumbled as Danny Ings closed him down to level proceedings.
Has Lloris been “wrong-footed by Pochettino”? Five things to know…
- Lloris has been a leading figure between the sticks for Spurs since signing in 2012.
- Of goalkeepers to play over five games since 2016/17, he boasts the fourth-best save percentage in the Premier League (74.55).
- However, Lloris has often proven susceptible to making errors across the past few seasons.
- Against Southampton on Saturday, his attempted Cruyff Turn resulted in a goal conceded and nearly cost Spurs.
- Tony Cascarino has now urged Pochettino to stop asking Lloris to play out from the back.
Lloris is not renowned for his ball-playing credentials, but Pochettino has placed a serious emphasis on Spurs playing out from the back at every given opportunity, and that mantra backfired over the weekend as Ings capitalised on Lloris’ shortcomings.
Incidentally, that equaliser was the ninth goal since 2016/17 that Lloris has conceded from an error on his part, the second-most of any player in that timeframe, and just one shy of goalkeeping contemporary Asmir Begovic.
In the immediate aftermath, Pochettino took full responsibility for the blunder as this is how he ‘demands’ Lloris to play, but Cascarino has since hit out at the Spurs boss, insisting the Argentine must stop asking the Frenchman to take on responsibilities that ultimately transcend his capabilities.
In his column for The Times, he wrote: “Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager, tried to take the heat off Hugo Lloris after his goalkeeper was dispossessed by Danny Ings for Southampton’s equaliser while turning on the ball.
“Lloris is a great shot-stopper, capable of pulling off world-class saves, but has never excelled with his feet. Pochettino should stop asking him to do something he finds so difficult.”
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“Don’t blame Hugo, blame me”
As mentioned, Pochettino was quick to leap to the defence of his shot-stopper after the match, suggesting the near-fatal moment was a result of the ‘demands’ he places on the World Cup winner.
Pochettino said: “Don’t blame Hugo, blame me, I demand him to play in this way.
“He showed great mentality [in the second half] and that is why he is one of the best in the world.”
Goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane ensured that all three points went Spurs’ way against Southampton. Pochettino will now turn his attention to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.