Monday 23 September 2019

Spurs boss Pochettino thinks Wembley is ‘best place in the world’ to play football

The Tottenham manager launched a passionate defence of the club’s temporary home.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino loves Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino loves Wembley (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Mauricio Pochettino insists playing at Wembley remains a “gift” despite Tottenham’s prolonged stay at the national stadium.

Spurs full-back Danny Rose this week voiced his frustration at the club’s extended tenure at the national stadium as they wait for their new ground to be ready.

Many Tottenham fans seem to agree, with just 33,012 turning up to watch the midweek win over Southampton.

Tottenham’s Danny Rose was critical of the atmosphere at Wembley (John Walton/PA)

But Pochettino has launched a passionate defence of Tottenham’s temporary home.

“I’m not going to create a debate with (Rose) or other players, everyone is entitled to give their opinion,” he said.

“If you ask me, I am so, so happy to play at Wembley. I was born in Argentina, when I heard about England for the first time it was with all the problems in the Falklands.

“Then when I arrived in Europe, when I played in the World Cup against England, when we arrived in Southampton six years ago, of course I changed completely my mind in the way I saw and now see this country.

“When you love football like we do, always you hear about Wembley. It was always a dream to play at Wembley.

“I played there in 2000 with the national team at the old Wembley and it was a dream come true. Now every week or two to have the possibility to play at Wembley is a gift.

“For me it’s about enjoying every day, going down the North Circular I think it is, when I look at the arch I say ‘thank you’ because every game I play at Wembley is a gift.

“We say ‘one game more, how lucky we are’. For me, it’s the best place in the world to play football.

“Of course after we’ll share that with our new stadium – they’re going to be the two best places to play, our new stadium White Hart Lane, and Wembley.

“Of course the disappointment of our fans and players I understand but for me I take it as very positive to play there. For me it’s a gift that I want to enjoy every time I’m there.”

Kieran Trippier will miss Saturday’s trip to Leicester after aggravating a groin problem which forced him off against Southampton.

The England full-back suffered the injury during the World Cup semi-final, but still played in the third-fourth place play-off a few days later.

Pochettino will take no such risks, saying: “For me a player that asked to come off the pitch, it’s common sense that after three days it’s impossible to play because, if not, there’s something wrong in that situation.”

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