Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino won't blame Michel Vorm for Liverpool opener
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino has defended Michel Vorm, insisting his No. 2 goalkeeper was not at fault for the opening goal in Tottenham's 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
With Hugo Lloris expected to miss several weeks with a thigh injury, Vorm is set for a run in the side but he looked culpable when Liverpool took their 39th-minute lead at Wembley, flapping at a corner and allowing Georginio Wijnaldum to head home.
But Pochettino said after the match: "If you ask me if it was his mistake, I think it wasn't his mistake. Maybe my vision is different. It was a complicated situation, with [Virgil van Dijk] in front of him with [Jan] Vertonghen and a few players there. It is not easy to take the ball.
"You know what happens and it is so unfair? Always when you lose, the players that are not on the pitch are the best, and that is the most unfair situation you can translate.
"Of course, if it is good it is good, and not good, not good. But I think it wasn't his mistake. If you analyse the action then maybe you put the focus on a different player.
"Michel was involved and the team, which is responsible, and I am responsible. But it wasn't the problem with not getting the three points today. I am happy with his performance. It is not easy in four seasons to be in the shadow of Lloris."
Spurs won their opening three matches of the campaign but have now suffered back-to-back defeats against Watford and Liverpool.
"I think the performance wasn't great," Pochettino said. "If you analyse the first five games, the performance was similar in all the games, but the opponents were all different.
"Today, if you make a lot of mistakes, then of course in front is Liverpool, one of the best teams in Europe. Sure you will be punished for the team and quality they have on the pitch.
"First of all, I want to say that they deserved the victory, but if you analyse the game it's some key moments -- the goal that we conceded. The first half I think was even and we conceded again from a set piece.
"When Lucas Moura hit the post [at 1-0 in the second half] it was the key moment to get the confidence that the team needed in this type of game.
"In the end, I think everyone saw it was very clearly a penalty on Son [Heung-Min] from [Sadio] Mane [in injury time]. I think we should be talking in a different way now. If it was given it's 2-2 if we score the goal.
"We need to still improve and improve a lot. This type of game shows you that we need to improve if we want to contend in the end to win some title."
Despite his frustrations, Pochettino remains upbeat and says he was happy with his side's attitude, having previously criticised their lack of aggression against Watford.
"After three victories [people said] all was fantastic," he said. "Now, after two defeats, it's not a disaster. The most important thing is to keep the balance. I am not worried, I promise you. We are going to win a lot of games.
"I trust completely in my squad, not 100 percent but 200 percent. I've not changed my feeling from one or two months ago.
"You need to make a bracket. Watford is Watford -- we didn't show our normal behaviour, attitudes or motivation. But today we competed.
"If you compete and they were better, you say congratulations, but I think we cannot compare. Watford was Watford, Liverpool you can win or lose, and I am not saying anything about attitude.
"I think they got a bit of luck today because it was a penalty. A draw was fantastic for us -- maybe we did not deserve to win.
"In football always the line between winning and losing is thin, like against Manchester United. In the first half, they deserved more. We won but that doesn't mean that we are so fantastic that we are going to win the Premier League. Today I think the attitude was very good."