Spurs boss: It’s been tough for Moussa Sissoko to find his rhythm in stop-start season
12:00 02 December 2016
Mauricio Pochettino says it has been difficult for Moussa Sissoko to get into a rhythm at Tottenham and show his best form after three months of interruptions.
The France international arrived from Newcastle on deadline day in a deal that could ultimately cost Spurs £30million, but the early signs have not been promising.
With the exception of a powerful performance in the 2-0 home win over Manchester City in early October, Sissoko has offered little in his 10 appearances for the Lilywhites so far, and he was omitted from the 18-man squad for the last game against Chelsea.
Pochettino admitted after that match that the new recruit did not deserve to be selected, stating: “Sissoko needs to work hard and to show in future that he deserves to be on the team.”
However, the manager has now adopted a more sympathetic tone, pointing out that Sissoko has had a rather stop-start season thus far.
“If you look backward, he signed on the last day [of the window], on August 31. Then he went to France on international duty, without having a pre-season.
“He came to us, got concussion [against Middlesbrough] and was then suspended for three games [after the game against Bournemouth]. It was very difficult for him to adapt and fit into the team.
“Look, after two and a half years, all of our players that come with us always struggle and still struggle to fit and to cope with our pressure.
“For the new players, it’s sure that it’s not easy for them - and he’s 27, with different habits, and it’s not easy for him. It’s not easy for anybody.
“[I didn’t speak about him] because I wasn’t happy. He’s the same and we believed that it was better to have [Georges-Kevin] Nkoudou or Josh Onomah on the bench rather than him, but it was a football decision.
“I’m happy. His attitude this week was very good, he trained very hard and it’s not a big issue for me.
“All the players need to understand that we are 24 and I am the boss, I am the manager. In my contract it says I have the decision to pick 11 players and then seven more to be in the squad, and when you have 24… The decision is always a football decision and not another thing.”
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