I would warrant a guess that most Tottenham Hotspur fans were surprised to see that Hugo Lloris not only started in Monday’s 3-0 win over Manchester United, but also that he kept his status as club captain. Lloris was arrested late last week and charged with “drink driving” a United Kingdom term whose closest American analogy is probably “driving under the influence.
The club put out an unofficial statement on Hugo’s arrest in the hours after the incident was made public, saying that the situation was “being handled internally.” Lloris is scheduled to appear in court early next month.
Naturally, thanks to the big win and Lloris’ impressive performance in goal at Old Trafford, Mauricio Pochettino was asked in the post match press conference about Hugo’s offense and whether the club had planned any sort of punishment, including suspension or stripping him of his club captaincy. Pochettino, to many people’s surprise, said no.
“No, I never considered [stripping him of the captaincy]. What happened was such a bad experience for him.
”He feels so sorry. He apologised to everyone, but not only apologised to our fans, us, the club and he shows his regret and apologised to the whole country, because that responsibility is massive. I think it was a good lesson for everyone, a massive lesson.
”He’s punishing himself. He feels so sorry and so bad because he knows that he made a big mistake, but in the same way I think he’s a man out of character. We are going to, of course, support him but knowing that we cannot justify of course. There’s no sense to take some decision like you told me.”
Hugo also got a strong nod of support from the other huge personality in the squad, and the person who would’ve almost certainly replaced him as club captain — Harry Kane.
“He apologised to the team obviously. He knows it wasn’t right what he did. From my point of view, Hugo’s a very good guy, he works very hard, so it’s been put to bed.
”Obviously he’ll have to deal with whatever comes his way from the law side of things, but he kept his head down, he apologised, worked hard and went out there and played well.”
Say what you want about how Tottenham has handled Hugo’s drinking and driving — and we will on this blog, a little later — Spurs have circled the wagons around him and whatever internal ramifications that he may bear in addition to legal ones are being kept quiet and away from the public eye. That’s causing quite a few side-eyes in England and abroad, but the club has seemingly made its decision.