Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says it's important to use English players
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 25/04/16 11:56pm
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes he has a duty to build his team around a core of English players.
Spurs could provide several members of Roy Hodgson's starting line-up at Euro 2016, with Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane all likely to be involved with England.
Pochettino feels it is important to have players in his squad who understand the "English culture" and that it has helped foster a strong sense of identity within his squad, whose Premier League title challenge continues against West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane on Monday Night Football.
He said: "I think it's important. We are an English club and, for me, it's important to provide a good balance between the player and to keep the culture. We are living in England.
"English culture is important and you can't be in an English club using Argentinian culture, or French, Italian, or whatever.
"I was in Spain [as a player and later coach of Espanyol] and when I first arrived in Spain it was the same. I think it's important to give the opportunity to the players from the nationality of the club.
"I think it's about identity and it's my responsibility as a manager to give the players the opportunity. I believe in all of the players.
"I don't look at their passports before I play them, but it's important if you're in Italy, Spain, England or France, to show respect and to try to keep the identity of the club.
"It's important for the foreign players who come here know that they have to integrate themselves in your culture, the English culture, and not the opposite way."
But despite that policy, Pochettino says his priority in any player is their ability on the pitch and their ability to be a "good professional".
"It happens a lot, not just in football," he added. "But in football if the manager is Argentinian, he brings a lot of Argentinian players, or Spanish people, for me it does not work. It can work for a short period, but not for a long time.
"It's not just English players, or different nationality, it's about being good professionals. The passport is not important.
"The most important thing in the dressing room is being a good professional. Then if they are English good, and it's important to keep the identity and the culture. Then you must have a very good player that we have now."