Just a day after Tottenham Hotspur’s dramatic win over Swansea, all eyes now turn to Spurs’ next match this Saturday against Watford at White Hart Lane. Watford manager Walter Mazzarri has guided the Hornets to an impressive tenth in the table this season, but said in recent comments to the media that his grasp of the English language has left him uncomfortable when speaking to the media, and that he’s reached out to Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino about his experiences learning English while coaching a top-level English football club.
"I want to be precise and clear when I speak to the media. I could speak English, but don't feel really comfortable yet. I am not ready.
"I do speak with my players and in the street, but I prefer to have a press conference with an interpreter.
"I actually asked Mauricio Pochettino at the first game, did you feel how I do now? He felt the same. I hope to do what Pochettino did – speak English in four years and be second in the table.”
Pochettino spent his first two seasons in England while at Southampton speaking mostly through an interpreter to the media. When he took the Spurs job, it came with the requirement that his press conferences be done in English and without a translator, something that Pochettino admitted had been a challenge.
Mazzarri has more problems than just his grasp of the language. The Watford boss admitted that he enters into this Saturday’s match against Spurs “without a defense” after former Spur Younes Kaboul and fellow defender Sebastian Prodl were ruled out through injury. They join an extensive list of injured Watford players that includes Valon Behrami, Christian Kabasele, Ben Watson, Mauro Zarate, and Roberto Pererya. Mazzari also suggested that Troy Deeney, Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Etienne Capoue, and Gomes are all doubts for Saturday’s match. Miguel Britos is suspended.
Whew! That’s quite a list.
"It's our destiny Against Tottenham, we are always in an emergency.
"Britos was important because Kaboul and Prodl were injured and we do not have a defence now.
"We had one of the best games since I have been here on Tuesday (in the 2-0 win over West Brom), where the players played the way I like and I would have liked to have been able to play against Tottenham with a full team.
"But I told my players this morning that whoever is going to play Saturday has the chance to show that they deserve to have been playing in the past as well."
That’s good news for Spurs, who have yet to lose a match this season at White Hart Lane. Tottenham can win their sixth straight league match against Watford, which would keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table and make sure that they don’t lose any ground to Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City below them.
The match against Watford kicks off Saturday at 12:30 p.m., 7:30 am ET.