By Amir Mir
Mauricio Pochettino has lambasted the decision to start the 2016-17 Premier League season so early, with Euro 2016 only finishing five weeks prior.
The 2016-17 Premier League season kicked off 13 August, with a number of players still recovering from their exertions in France in the summer.
Tottenham began their season with a 1-1 draw away at Everton, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris being forced off injured in the 35th minute with a hamstring injury. He is expected to be out for four weeks.
Lloris featured for France during Euro 2016, with the shot-stopper playing in the final where his country were beaten 2-1 by Portugal.
Pochettino believes the decision to start the Premier League season so early is wrong and isn’t fair on the big-name players.
“You cannot play the Euros and start [the Premier League] on 13 August. How can you give rest to the players after the whole season?” Pochettino asked rhetorically, as quoted by the BBC live blog [11:53am].
Pochettino said the hectic schedule leaves managers open to criticism, regardless of the decisions they make.
“If you give rest in training and say, ‘I don’t want to use this player that was involved in the Euros’ and you have no positive results – the media, the supporters, the board and the president kill me,” said Pochettino.
“You are in competition for 11 and a half months and the players, because you pay them good salaries, don’t deserve the holidays? Come on. And the families? The sons? The kids? They are not machines.”
The Premier League season kicked off a week before La Liga and Serie A, with the Bundesliga beginning their campaign next week.
Supporters and managers alike have constantly called for a winter break in the English Premier League. Spurs have another busy campaign with Champions League football on the horizon.
The north London club welcome Crystal Palace to White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, as Pochettino’s side prepare for another assault on the Premier League title.
In other Tottenham team news, Andros Townsend posts this message on his return to White Hart Lane.