UGH. UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH.
Just days after Mauricio Pochettino told the press that, basically, everything was fine regarding Harry Kane, and hours after he seemed to walk back those statements saying “We’ll see,” Tottenham Hotspur has ruled out England’s best striker from Saturday’s match against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Poch told the press ahead of the match that Kane actually DID suffer a hamstring strain at the tail end of Spurs’ 4-1 win over Liverpool last weekend. Kane went down with what was assumed to be a cramp, but TV cameras caught him holding his hamstring as he went to the bench. Now it appears that he’ll miss the United match and could be a doubt for the mid-week tie against Real Madrid.
This is from the Guardian’s write-up of Pochettino’s comments:
“For tomorrow, we cannot take a risk,” the manager said. “It’s a minor injury, very small, but we cannot take a risk. We’ll see after for Wednesday against Real Madrid. Tomorrow, it’s impossible.
“It is a blow? Yes. You always want all the players available. It’s a problem. We want them available to play. We always believe in the collective, the squad. During the season, problems happen and you must trust all the players, all the squad. I’ve told you the players are not machines and it’s so difficult to cope with international duty, playing every three days. It’s lucky it’s not a big problem but he’s not going to play tomorrow.”
Pochettino was asked whether Kane had demanded to play at Old Trafford. “No, no,” Pochettino said. “It’s a decision from the doctor and medical staff not to take a risk. It’s no sense to take a risk when the problem is small and we can fix it in a few days, probably.”
— David Hytner, The Guardian
Let this be an important lesson for all of us to remember going forward: Mauricio Pochettino lies about player injuries. There’s nothing wrong with him lying, of course — Pochettino doesn’t owe us sports bloggers anything and there are very good reasons why he’d want to keep this out of the press for as long as possible We know this, but it’s something that we should always keep in the backs of our minds.
But equally annoying is the fact that Pochettino played both of Spurs’ reserve strikers, Son Heung-Min and Fernando Llorente, in Tottenham’s 3-2 loss to West Ham on Wednesday. One or both of them are going to have to go for the majority of the match on Saturday, and with Kane also a doubt for Real Madrid that’s a pretty crazy stretch of important games with not a lot of rest for either of them.
Victor Wanyama was the only other player listed in Tottenham’s injury report, with the club saying that he is “receiving treatment and continuing to go through rehabilitation, following up with a specialist next week.”