Pochettino comments on international break versus Spurs’ Premier League title push
Spurs are in the midst of a title chase, and may be the only team with a reasonable chance of ruining Leicester City’s run at history.
Mauricio Pochettino’s club is also expected to bow out of the Europa League on Thursday, trailing 3-0 to Borussia Dortmund and playing the second leg at home.
But, in a sense, Tottenham Hotspur would still have a major competition to deal with, and that’s the England national team. With Euro 2016 a couple of months away, Spurs could see up to eight players called up by Roy Hodgson for this month’s friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands.
Harry Kane is a squad regular, and Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Ryan Mason were all called up in November. Danny Rose has also been in the fold over the last year, while the BBC speculates that Kieran Trippier and Tom Carroll could also hear their phones buzz with news from Hodgson.Here’s Pochettino:
“We have contact with all the staff from the national teams and always we need advice and information but we’ll never say ‘you need to do this or that’,” he says.
“When they have international opportunities and a chance to play and prepare for the Euros, it’s difficult because they have interests and sometimes it’s against our interests.
“We need to understand they need to play and show quality and effort. I’m happy with our communication with the national team - they hear us.”
While playing matches is surely more risk-intensive than regular training, the “club or country” debate often rings a little hollow in-season (especially when players are healthy). When a title’s on the line, does that make any difference? Leicester will likely have less activity on the England front, but barely less on the whole.