Proud Mauricio Pochettino demands consistency from Spurs, as Arsenal win and Everton slump again

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his players need to be consistent if they are to win the Premier League title after outclassing Cardiff City on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 02 January 2019

Proud Mauricio Pochettino demands consistency from Spurs, as Arsenal win and Everton slump again

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his players need to be consistent if they are to win the Premier League title after outclassing Cardiff City on Tuesday.

Goals by Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Korean star Son Heung-min inside the opening half hour saw Spurs beat the Welsh side 3-0, leapfrog Manchester City into second spot and go six points behind leaders Liverpool.

City host Liverpool on Thursday but Pochettino was keener to focus on what his team can do to deliver the London club's first league title since 1961.

"I don't want to see the table. Of course we are in a good position," he told Sky Sports.

"We need to be consistent. You must be consistent during the whole season."

Pochettino, who remains the bookmaker's favourite to get the full-time job at Manchester United, said the overall performance of his team had delighted him after Saturday's damaging 3-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"I'm very pleased, the one thing I need to say is we suffered without rest between the games and therefore from the players it was magnificent," said the 46-year-old Argentinian.

"They deserve full credit. It was a very tough period for us."

Pochettino, who despite garnering credit for developing young players is yet to win a trophy in his managerial career, says he will be able to fill the large gap that will be left with Son leaving for Asian Cup duty.

"That is football, we knew it would happen," said Pochettino.

"He will go with his national team but we have players and football is about the squad and surely we will find the solution."

Eriksen said the victory had eased the pressure on Spurs in terms of the title race.

"We put pressure on everyone and took pressure off ourselves. It'll be back on for the next game," the Dane told Sky Sports.

"It felt like we were 18 points behind but we're not far off."

It appears Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah have some company as they vie for the second straight season to be top scorer in the Premier League.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the Bundesliga's leading marksman in his last full season in German soccer — with 31 goals for Borussia Dortmund in the 2016-17 campaign — and he is proving just as prolific in England after reaching 14 this season by scoring Arsenal's fourth in a 4-1 win over Fulham on Tuesday.

The Gabon striker moved to Arsenal in January last year as Arsene Wenger's final signing and has been an unqualified success with 23 league goals in barely 11 months.

Jamie Vardy rescued a dire match with an eye-catching celebration as his goal secured Leicester City a 1-0 win away at Everton in their New Year’s day Premier League fixture on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old showed remarkable agility after scoring in the 58th minute for a result that sees The Foxes move into seventh, seven points adrift of Arsenal who occupy the Europa League fifth-placed spot.

Vardy has been rumored to have strained relations with Leicester manager Claude Puel and was taken off in the defeat by Cardiff last Saturday and said the acrobatic display had not been a spontaneous one.

“I have had it in my locker for a while,” he told Sky Sports.

“I saved it for a special occasion, what better one than New Years Day. New year, new me.”

Hopes that Portuguese manager Marco Silva would lead to a revival and a genuine challenge for European football have foundered of late with four defeats in their last five Premier League matches.

Silva, whose side are 10th, 11 points adrift of Arsenal, admitted their performance fell well short of what he or the fans desired.

“Disappointing result, poor performance to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.

“In this moment we have to be honest and look clear at the game.


NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

Updated 12 July 2020

NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

  • ‘It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal’
  • But Lakers star still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others

LOS ANGELES: NBA superstar LeBron James said Saturday he would opt out of wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey because it doesn’t “resonate with his mission.”
James, who has often spoken out against racism and police brutality in America, is passing on the NBA’s plan to help bring attention to racial inequality by having players wear messages like “I Can’t Breathe” instead of their family names.
“I didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” the Los Angeles Lakers forward James said Saturday. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players.”
“I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
James says he wishes he had had some input into the jersey change.
“I would have loved to have a say on what would have went on the back of the jersey. I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process which is OK.”
“I don’t need to have something on the back of the jersey for people to understand my mission and what I’m about and what I am here to do.”
The vast majority of NBA players have decided to pick a social justice message when play resumes in Orlando, Florida.
James is one of just about 17 players out of 285 so far who have opted to continue using their family names on the back of their uniforms.
The list of suggested messages, agreed on by the players union and NBA owners and then made available to players, includes “I Can’t Breathe,” which is what George Floyd said more than 20 times before he died with a white police officer kneeling on his neck.
Other messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
James said even though he isn’t taking part in the jersey messages, he is still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others, especially people in the Black community.
“Being able to use my platform, use the NBA’s platform, to continue to talk about what’s going on. Because I will not stop until I see real change for us in Black America, for African Americans, for people of color. And I also believe I can do both, though.”
James said he always expected to play in the restart to the season: “I am here for one goal and one goal only and that is to win a championship.”