Why Pochettino's Europa League team selection could prove damaging for Tottenham

Tottenham WHL

The Argentine chose to field a mainly unchanged team, to the detriment of his fringe players.

Mauricio Pochettino took a new approach to the Europa League this week and fielded by far the strongest team he has done in his time as Tottenham Hotspur manager.

Full-backs Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose were the only unforced changes - coming in for Kyle Walker and Ben Davies - while Nacer Chadli returned in place of the injured Heung-Min Son.

Spurs nearly got their rewards but were pegged back by the Ligue 1 club in the last ten minutes for a share of the spoils, and Pochettino’s failure to rotate has raised some questions.

The Argentine has previously spoken about the strength in depth of his squad and the multitude of options available, but his failure to utilise them suggests a lack of trust.

Dropping Kevin Wimmer was harsh - given he has hardly put a foot wrong in his two appearances to date - and denying Clinton N’Jie a start was also a strange call.

The Cameroonian impressed in his recent substitute outing against Manchester City and a return to France seemed like the perfect opportunity to give him a proper run out.

Andros Townsend also looked lively when he came on and could have benefitted from a full 90 minutes.

The upcoming international break likely played a part in Pochettino’s decision making, with the bulk of his players seeing less football than they normally would over the next 12 days.

He probably felt it was worth sending the big guns out to try to clinch three points, in what is Spurs’ hardest group game on paper, but the message it sends to the rest of the squad could be harmful.

Fringe players will have been promised cup games to prove their worth but when the bulk of them don’t feature, even after a 3-1 triumph in the first group game, they will begin to doubt their prospects of making it into the Premier League XI.

Pochettino has the players to rotate things and pick up results and he will need to do so if he hopes to keep his talented young bunch happy this season.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch