Mauricio Pochettino says international break is ‘crazy'
Barclays Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Liverpool 1
TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino has criticised the “crazy” international break that has interrupted the Premier League after only three matches.
The next round of domestic fixtures is being staged on September 10 due to World Cup qualifying and arrives only two months after Euro 2016.
Spurs will lose a host of stars, mainly to England, and Pochettino believes it is too early in the season to schedule international matches.
“It’s crazy that we stop again in the Premier League. It’s not a complaint....it’s just about our players. We have 75 per cent of our squad involved,” Pochettino said.
“It’s not a perfect break because all of the international players are involved in their international teams. We need time, a few months ,to get all the players at the same level.”
Pochettino, speaking after Spurs’ 1-1 draw with Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Saturday, was unable to offer an update on Kyle Walker’s availability for England duty after being substituted inside the opening half-hour because of illness. Danny Rose rescued a point with a superb finish after James Milner had given the Reds the lead from the penalty spot.
Spurs finished strongly after being over-run for periods of the opening hour and Pochettino is satisfied with the players at his disposal.
“I am very happy with my squad. I don’t have any complaints. We’re always looking for players who can give us something different, but the market is never easy,” he said.
“We have some players who are young who show good quality and need experience of the Premier league and they have opportunity to show this.”
Milner was playing in the unfamiliar position of right-back but looked comfortable in his new home to the point that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sees no need to strengthen his defence there in the transfer market.
“A full-back is not just a winger in offence, it’s also a (number) eight in different moments, so it’s a really good position for James. He has still to adapt and learn the position,” he said.
“We will work on it but we are convinced he can play there, that’s why we haven’t signed another player in this position. I’m not surprised he can play there.”
Since winning a seven-day thriller at Arsenal on the opening day of the season, Liverpool have lost to Burnley and drawn with Tottenham.
“It’s early in the season and we haven’t had the easiest start, but sitting here with four points from three games is not what I wanted. This is our base and we have to build on this,” Klopp said.