Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris owes a big debt of gratitude to Mauricio Pochettino

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 14 September 2018, 10:40

HUGO LLORIS openly admits accepting free drinks from well-wishers in a West End nightclub before getting behind the wheel of his motor wasn’t his wisest move.

It doesn’t need Sherlock Holmes to tell us that by the way, but there you go, footballers do what footballers do from time to time.

Now faced with a near two-year driving ban and fines totalling £300,000 to the Crown and Tottenham Hotspur he might also be a little skint for the next few weeks at least.

But the errant Frenchman really owes much much more to his clever manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has gone beyond what bosses need to do in order to curb the public lynching of one of his star players.

Footballers these days live in a huge glass bubble. In fact Tottenham’s players will quite literally do that when their new stadium does eventually open, complete with a one-way mirror into the tunnel so fans can gawp at them lining up before every home match.

Lloris knows he did wrong driving drunk. He has said so and even offered to step down as Tottenham captain as part of the punishment.

The fact Pochettino refused to accept the resignation of his most senior player proves what a wise man-manager he is. It is also an extremely perceptive decision from an artful young manager.

The black-and-white view in the social media arena is for Lloris to be hung, drawn and quartered. But Pochettino has gone against that and stuck by his man.

Lloris now understands that he owes his line manager a massive favour. Once he is fit again and mentally ready to step out into the spotlight across the white lines he must be prepared to die for Tottenham and for Pochettino.

To have the World Cup winning goalkeeper and skipper in your pocket is just about every coach’s dream. Lloris won’t give him much trouble again that’s for sure.

 

There’ll be no agitating for a new contract, no mischief making for a pay rise with dual-purpose interviews to keep everyone guessing. Pochettino also made the smart choice because had he gone full throttle and dismembered Lloris and stripping him of captaincy, it would have meant the sought-after keeper heading off sooner rather than later.

There would be no shortage of takers either for the man who let in only three goals throughout the entire World Cup.

Lloris’ fall from grace with his drink driving conviction is unusual in football.

The culprit has held up his hands and admitted his guilt, shown remorse and vowed never to do it again, while accepting of all consequences, instead of looking to blame everyone but himself.

Pochettino in response has been sympathetic but also astute in the way he has handled the situation so that he emerges a winner in the long term.

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