Players – benchwarmers, stars and even reserves – fall out with coaches every now and then.
Why? Well, football can be likened to a machine plant that has human beings in its mix and as with everything that has to be processed alongside humans, emotions often rub off the system. The bone of contention is commonly unsatisfaction arising from the player’s end as to why he is sparingly featuring in the coaches starting line-up.
However hardly do you hear of a coach going out of his way to break his club’s transfer record, sign a player and pick issues with him even before featuring him in his first game. Enter Moussa Sissoko. The France international joined Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham for record sum of 30 million pounds.
It therefore came with surprises as the French man was nowhere to be seen on the bench or starting line-up for the first few weeks. Pochettino – who by the way should be commended with the way he handled the situation – could have lied that the winger wasn’t fit to feature or out rightly declared him injured or say other things coaches stuff the ever rumour-hungry media with in a bid to cover up internal face-offs. Instead, the former Southampton United coach stated that the French man’s indiscipline in training was showing him off as one who wasn’t ready to be taken seriously.
For the most touchy of players that might have set off a season of dirty back and forth blame games, give-ups and outright lack of commitments that would have ended up seeing Spurs try to lose as little as possible – they’re obviously not going to gain a dime in such scenarios – cut their losses and move on.
Instead, Pochettino’s direct approach to the matter seemed to have been taken up by the French man as a challenge – his style on the pitch even embodies that of someone who doesn’t give up – as he came back into the squad few days after the coach’s public comment and grabbed opportunities first at the 1-0 loss against Manchester United and the home victory over Stoke City where he started. And from the looks of it this seems as only the beginning of a promising career with Spurs as they could sure do with a tireless box-to-box midfielder given Christian Eriksen’s Penchant for drifting out of games and Dele Alli’s lack of physicality.
Scenarios like this stirs up flash backs like the Ferguson-Beckham flying boot incident which culminated in the then England golden boy’s move to Madrid. Also, Italian bad boy Mario Ballotelli’s training pitch sling with Roberto Mancini is well documented.
For Moussa Sissoko though, faced with a lot of paths that would reflect a supposed “anger” towards his coach’s public dressing, instead, chose the part of redemption and re-integration and he must be commended for that.