In Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, Spurs fullback Serge Aurier made a little history today, but probably not the kind that he would want. Aurier became the first player in Premier League history to be whistled for THREE foul throws in a single Premier League match.
It’s not the first time he’s done it, either. By my (admittedly hazy) count, this is at least the fifth foul throw Serge has had this season in all competitions. It’s a bit of a perplexing problem, considering that most players learn how to do a proper throw-in while they are still children. I learned it (two-step run-up, both hands all the way over your head, complete follow through, drag your foot) in second grade while playing in my local YMCA youth league (Go Retrievers!!). No idea how Serge keeps screwing it up.
After the match, Spurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino had a little fun at Serge’s expense when asked about the foul throws.
“We are going to practice every day! I promise that to the fans too. Every day this week!
“I’m sure they are very disappointed. The first one he tried to get the ball into play quickly and then maybe made a mistake. You know it was probably a little bit too much pressure from the referee, similar to Dele. When Dele does something he gets the focus, it was the same with Serge with the ball. But I promise everyone that we are going to practice every day.”
When asked if he said anything to Serge about the foul throws, Poch made a joke out of it.
“Of course, yes! I said ‘Come on, you are going to get me sacked!’ It looks like we are so bad and we don’t practice the throw-ins.”
This is a small and rather silly thing to be critical about in the grand scheme of things, but it is a bit puzzling why foul throws keep happening to Aurier and not to, well, ANYONE else. Maybe it’s just adjusting to the Premier League and the way the officials call things. I’m willing to bet that Serge is just as frustrated having those called as we were watching him fail at something most kids learn by the time they’re six.