Mauricio Pochettino suggests Tottenham's £30m Moussa Sissoko not living up to expectations
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 28/11/16 9:57am
Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Moussa Sissoko has not lived up to expectations and insists he will not play Tottenham's record signing simply because he cost £30m.
Sissoko, who joined from Newcastle in a last-ditch Deadline Day deal, has struggled to establish himself in Pochettino's first team and was left out of the match-day squad for the Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.
The France international openly disagreed with Pochettino that Spurs do not have the strength in depth to cope with both the Champions League and Premier League, after their Group E defeat to Monaco last week.
But the Tottenham boss says other players deserved to play ahead of Sissoko at Stamford Bridge.
Pochettino said: "If you sign a player and you expect something, and you do not find what you expect, and if another deserves to be involved, like Georges-Kevin N'Koudou or Vincent Janssen, then why [do we play another]? Because we paid money we need to put the player to play?
Sissoko admits to slow start
Moussa Sissoko admits to a slow start at Tottenham with 'a lot of mishaps'
"Football is not about money. You show on the training ground that you are better than another team-mate and you deserve to be involved. Of course he needs to work hard and show in the future that he deserves to be involved in the team.
"I need to take a decision and I believe the players that start on the bench deserved to be involved in the game. It is not another thing to focus on. (What he said) is not frustrating for me. It is about football."
Spurs have won just one of their last 10 games in all competitions but Pochettino insists there is "nothing wrong" with their progress despite succumbing to a first Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.
"If you want to criticise that [we were knocked out of the Champions League] then okay, I accept that," Pochettino said. "It is a little bit tough, and after Monaco I said maybe we cannot cope in both competitions.
"But I think there is nothing wrong. We are in a good position in the Premier League. You saw a very different performance between Monaco and Chelsea - that happens because to be fresh to play in both competitions is difficult. We need to learn about that and start to win games."