“Striker criticized for body language, needs improvement.”
Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the media after yesterday’s win over Preston in the FA Cup, and he took the chance to be quite critical of one of his players.
Armando Broja is set for a run of starts in the team while Nicolas Jackson is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, and despite scoring yesterday he didn’t really convince anyone – including Pochettino, it seems.
“It’s really important for him but I need to be honest, I think he needs to use this kind of game to score a goal and feel the net and to improve. Improve not only in his fitness or his capacity for work ethic, but in his body language also. He needs to step up and go forward, smile and be a little bit more positive.”
It’s quite unusual to see a manager make blunt demands and criticism like this so publicly, but we’re fine with it. The right time to do it is after a goal and a win, rather than compounding bad vibes with further criticism. It also avoids the sense that Pochettino is blaming his striker to take the pressure off himself.
There’s no denying that Broja was poor for large parts of yesterday’s game despite his goal, and hopefully this prod will get a little more out of him.