Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has angrily criticised football authorities over congested scheduling, calling for greater respect to be shown to the players.
In the wake of Hugo Lloris’ hamstring injury, sustained in Tottenham’s opening 1-1 Premier League draw away to Everton, Pochettino said decreased recovery time between matches has made the job for managers a nightmare.
The Argentine boss was reticent to link Lloris’ injury to his lack of an off-season break, but he said “you cannot play the Euros and start [the Premier League] on August 13,” in a vicious indictment.
Lloris played every match for France at Euro 2016 including the final on July 10, and while he was absent for Tottenham’s trip to Melbourne a mere two weeks later for the International Champions Cup, his only pre-season appearance came as a second-half substitute against Inter on August 5.
“Should I have rested Hugo more? It would be better if we discussed how our bosses manage football. The problem is not the organisation of the competition. You cannot play the Euros and start on August 13,” Pochettino said.
“The decisions are always from people who have never played football. I agree with Diego Maradona sometimes when he complains about football: the people who take the decisions are people who never touch the football.
“It’s true that it’s a business but respect the athletes. Every four year you compete in the Olympic Games but in football it’s every three days. It’s very difficult. That’s why it’s important to organise the competition better in the future but, sometimes, you’re speaking for the sake of it because who listens?”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has faced criticism for his decision to rest French duo Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud along with Mesut Ozil, but Aaron Ramsey injured his hamstring, after making the Euro 2016 semi-final with Wales.
With Tottenham to now host Crystal Palace on Saturday, Pochettino said managers are doomed, whatever their tactic.
“We need to be like jugglers in the circus. Come on! All the pressure is on the managers, always. Finding the balance is difficult,” he said.
“Just because you pay the players good money doesn’t mean they must be ready. Harry Kane, for example – he has no holiday, no holiday, no holiday. He plays in the Under 21s [European Championship] and then the Euro. He is not a machine.”
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