Belfast Telegraph

No politics in team selection: Mauricio

 

Left out: Christian Eriksen
Left out: Christian Eriksen

By Jonathan Veal

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino insists the contract situations of his players are not affecting team selection.

Pochettino raised eyebrows for the opening game of the season last week when he left Christian Eriksen on the bench and did not include Jan Vertonghen in his squad against Aston Villa.

Eriksen's future is the subject of intense speculation - and Pochettino has said he does not know whether the Dane will be there after the European transfer window shuts in September - after he expressed a desire to leave, while Vertonghen is in the final year of his contract.

Pochettino revealed that Eriksen, who came on and changed the game in a 3-1 win over Villa, is still struggling with fitness following summer surgery and said Vertonghen's surprise omission was a tactical decision.

The Argentinian, whose side face Man City today, insists politics do not come into play and there are no personal issues.

"For me, it is the same if a player has a year or five years," he said. "The selection is not because of the length of the contract, it is about the performance.

"I will take the decision based on the performance, not the contract or personal situations.

"My point is to help and support all the players until they decide to take a different way in their career. And show respect to all.

"One thing is my decision but that human relationship cannot be based on if you play or not play.

"I am happy with all the players. My personal relationship is good with all the players. It was a football decision.

"Of course it is painful when a player is out of the squad but that is a football decision."

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