Why Pochettino's next few team selections may hint at summer plans


How Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino manages these players until the season's end may indicate who he has already struck from his future plans.

Tottenham Hotspur fans may find out just which of the many internationals struggling to get game time under the management of Mauricio Pochettino will likely be kept at the club into next season. 

With Spurs having relative success in the cup competitions this year, few if any Premier League clubs have played more games since the beginning of the season, Pochettino has had room to rotate many of his players from league games to cup matches. This may not have been ideal for establishing a settled side, but did help blood some of those at the club who were new at first-team level - both Harry Kane and Ryan Mason got their first starts of the season in such competitions, with Ben Davies also getting a lot of game time this way, while also providing snippets of first team football to those out of favour.

With Spurs now finished with the League Cup, and also finding themselves out of the FA Cup and Europa League, there is only one competition to focus on, and the club now have a settled routine of playing every weekend until the end of the season. There are no more midweek matches to take into account.

It is telling that in recent weeks, the Argentine has found a settled side, give or take two or three individuals. The back four is fairly consistent, with Eric Dier and Federico Fazio the two partners for Jan Vertonghen, while Davies and Danny Rose have alternated the left-back spot. In midfield, Mousa Dembele often comes into the centre, while Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend tend to share wing duties. The likes of Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Vertonghen, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane are all key first team men, though Roberto Soldado has been an option in attack and Benjamin Stambouli an occasional defensive choice in midfield.

This could well be the point where many players, those who have gotten most of their action from Europa League and domestic cup games, start to feel somewhat left out. Many of these individuals may well be departing the club in the summer, but those Pochettino wishes to keep as part of the squad at White Hart Lane will have to be incorporated to a degree. As he did against QPR last week with Davies, Pochettino has to make subtle adjustments to keep those he is looking to retain next season involved in the first team.

If, between now and the end of the season, there are no appearances for the likes of Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Etienne Capoue, it is as sure a sign as there can be that they have no future at the club.

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