Darren Bent has torn into Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino for trying to protect goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after his error against Southampton on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England striker insists that the only person to blame for Danny Ings’ first-half goal was the French international, despite Pochettino looking to apportion some of the blame onto his shoulders.
The Argentine manager said after the game that people should not blame Lloris for trying to turn his way out of trouble deep into his own box, boldly claiming it was his fault for demanding the shot-stopper plays in such a manner.
Bent says that while he understands Pochettino’s decision to try and protect his captain, there is no one else to blame but the man between the sticks.
Bent told Football Insider: “In recent times, I’ve started to see Lloris make one or two more errors. He’s starting not to look like the Hugo Lloris we’ve seen for many seasons. We’re starting to see a few lapses in concentration, so it’s like: ‘Hold on a minute, what’s going on here?’
“(On Pochettino’s quotes) It’s him protecting his player but look at (Sheffield United’s) Dean Henderson when (Liverpool’s) Gini Wijnaldum scored – straight after the game Chris Wilder’s said: ‘I don’t feel sorry for him. At the end of the day, he’s a goalkeeper and he’s made a mistake.’ He didn’t try to mollycoddle him.
“I get what Pochettino’s saying, he wants his team to play out from the back, but Hugo Lloris is an experienced player. There’s times where it’s brilliant if it comes off but there’s times – you teach a 14-year-old that – don’t take risks. You get it out your feet and clear it. We know full well it’s a goalkeeping error and Pochettino cannot take the blame.”
Having been pegged back to 1-1 by the Saints through Ings’ goal, Harry Kane managed to net the winning strike for Spurs just minutes later, wrapping up a 2-1 victory.
Lloris went on to concede seven goals during the Lilywhites’ Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Heung-min Son and Kane getting the north Londoners’ goals.