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Pochettino Could Face Serious Selection Headaches As Key First Team Star Could Face A Lengthy Ban

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Spurs fans were disappointed when Jan Vertonghen picked up his fifth booking of the season against Southampton yesterday which would see him miss the next encounter against Watford away from home. However, it seems only to be a little pinch as the Belgian international’s ban could be extended after a pointless foul on Jay Rodriguez which was rather unseen by the referee.

In TV replays during Sky Sports’ broadcast, it appeared that both the aforementioned players were tussling to win the ball in the box. Upon clearing the danger, Vertonghen unnecessarily pushed the Southampton forward in the face. It was clearly a dictionary definition of foolishness.

Mike Dean takes away no blame as the incident occurred on his back and the judgment may be referred to an independent panel of former referees. If the man in black had spotted the challenge on the pitch, it could have been a straight red and the 29-year-old was fortunate enough to hobble over the finish line.

Since moving to White Hart Lane from Ajax in 2012, the towering centre-back has been the best signing in defence by some distance. He slotted straight into the north London club’s starting line-up and continued where he left off at the Dutch League. He commands the core of the backline with a healthy blend of athleticism and has the ability to repel waves of threats with his experience.

In the 4-1 victory at the St Mary’s Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino was without another key central defender, Toby Alderweireld who picked up a virus, but he was never missed as Spurs’ defence were largely untroubled despite conceding in the 2nd minute of the match. Alderweireld has already missed a handful of matches with an injury earlier this season and if he fails to recover from the illness before the next game, Pochettino will be sweating for cover. Eric Dier has been a capable deputy for the 27-year-old but Vertonghen’s influence by his side plays a part too.

Another key member of the defensive line, Kyle Walker also got his name into the referee’s notebook at Southampton and it was his fifth of the season, thus he will only be a spectator at Vicarage Road.

Amidst such compact schedule, without three key players, this could be the toughest task for the Argentinean. If the Londoners fail to seize maximum points, the gap between them and fourth placed Arsenal may seem unbridgeable. Also, Watford’s home form is pretty commendable and they have a number of attackers who would look to take advantage of Spurs’ woes.

The Spurs boss mentioned that he did not witness the incident after full-time yet Rodriguez was holding his face after receiving the hit.

“I did not see it. He got the yellow card at the end and is suspended for next game. But I didn’t see it. I don’t know, “said the Argentinean in the post-match press conference. (via Mirror)

If a violent conduct is to be charged on Jan Vertonghen, there is a likelihood for him to receive a three-match ban, which includes a crucial encounter against table toppers Chelsea, West Brom and FA Cup third round game against Aston Villa.

 

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