Kieran Trippier made his return to the Tottenham Hotspur lineup yesterday in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Southampton. The bad news is that he wasn’t able to go the full 90 minutes, and was substituted late in the second half with what looked like a recurrence of his original groin injury.
Spurs had a comfortable 3-0 lead at the time and Kieran’s injury allowed for Oliver Skipp to make his Premier League debut, but it’s still a problem. After the match, Pochettino suggested that, like Christian Eriksen, Trips’ injury is likely one that is long term and will require both careful maintenance and mental adjustment.
“I think it’s the same problem, the same problem that started in the World Cup. If you remember the semi-final against Croatia, when he left the pitch. Then I think to play after three days against Belgium, I think maybe it affected a little bit. Now he’s suffering in that situation.
“In situations like today when the pitch is not in a good condition, this area, the groin, suffers more when the pitch is different. It’s a thing that we need to care a lot for him, protect him, he needs to work a lot to protect and sort that problem.
“It will be a long period for him suffering this type of problem. When I was in Argentina as a 19-year-old I suffered and it is an area that is difficult to sort out. But I don’t believe it’s a big thing. It’s only he needs to start to accept that situation and live with sometimes some pain and play.”
So it’s never great when your manager says basically “You have a chronic condition, learn to play with some pain,” but that’s more or less what Poch says here. It’s maybe not entirely surprising — we don’t tend to think of Trippier as a football veteran, but he’s 28 years old and is heading towards the point where footballers’ bodies can start to break down a bit.
That’s not to say that Trips is crocked — he could make a full recovery in time. But it’s something to look at going forward, especially if this is going to limit Trips’ minutes in the months to come. Long term, Spurs already need reinforcements at the fullback position. It might be worth either taking a long, hard look at Kyle Walker-Peters and his future with the club, or consider investing in a new right back this summer.