Tottenham v Everton
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he had no input into the club’s decision to hire Paul Mitchell as head of recruitment and analysis from former club Southampton.
A week after high-flying Saints opened their £33 million (€41m) training ground, reports emanated that the33-year-old would be following the former Argentina international to White Hart Lane.
Pochettino penned a five-year deal as head coach in the summer and on Wednesday it was confirmed that Mitchell had also made the move to north London.
It is understood Tottenham paid Southampton compensation for the former Wigan and MK Dons player, who links up again with the coaching staff he worked with at St Mary’s.
Pochettino, though, suggests it was others at the club and not him that took the decision to hire Mitchell.
“I never spoke about the new appointment,” the Spurs boss said, ahead of the visit of Everton to White Hart Lane tomorrow.
“The club find him and proposed the job.”
Mitchell’s arrival at Tottenham will further complicate an already politically charged structure, with director of football Franco Baldini and chairman Daniel Levy both prominent in transfer negotiations.
Meanwhile, Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Tottenham following the pitch invasions which disrupted their Europa League match at home to Partizan Belgrade on Thursday. The White Hart Lane clash, which Spurs won 1-0, was temporarily suspended late in the first half following three separate pitch invasions.
Uefa will hear the charge on December 11.
Spurs have enough distractions ahead of the visit of Everton but Harry Kane says there will be “no excuse” if they fail to end their awful post-Europa League form.
“There is no excuse on Sunday because Everton played (on Thursday) night as well. It will be a good game.”
Four injured players are in contention to return for Everton tomorrow. Steven Naismith, Leighton Baines (both hamstring), Gareth Barry (ankle) and Steven Pienaar (knee) will all be given a chance to prove their fitness.
James McCarthy’s hamstring injury is yet to be assessed while Darron Gibson (knee), John Stones (ankle), Antolin Alcaraz (shoulder) and Bryan Oviedo are all expected to miss the game.
Striker Arouna Kone is finally fully fit, however. The Ivory Coast international has not played a first-team match for more than a year but enjoyed a run out in a training match against Celtic on Tuesday.
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