25 Oct 2016

Anfield Smackdown: Pochettino criticises 'Liverpool' and claims Jurgen Klopp fails to 'give time' to 'younger players'

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has criticised Liverpool's approach to youth development.

Speaking to ESPN today, Pochettino specifically name-checked Liverpool when slating the Premier League's failure to integrate more young players into first-team action. He explained:

"Liverpool prefers to buy experience and quality, and bring a player who is 24, 23 or 26 that performs quickly, rather than give time to the younger players".

Pochettino then appeared to suggest that Spurs' have a more successful approach to integrating young players:

"Tottenham is in a different project. We bring in players, but we try to give the opportunity to the younger players who have potential one day to be in the first team".

Is Pochettino right? This season, undoubtedly yes:

* So far, Klopp has ignored young players for the Premier League campaign. Only Marko Grujic has featured (as a sub) and he was signed, rather than developed.

* Ovie Ejaria is the only Academy player to get game time this season, and that was just a paltry 13 minutes against Derby in the League Cup.

Pochettino's claim that Spurs 'give time to younger players' doesn't really hold up, though. This season, Josh Onomah (19) and Harry Winks (20) have been granted just 13 minutes of Premier League game time, though, to be fair, Winks played the full 90 minutes in the last round of the League Cup.

Given Pochettino's comments, it'll be interesting to see what team he puts out for tonight's game at Anfield. Which of the two managers will field the youngest team?


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