Spurs upset by Belgium revealing Vertonghen injury

LONDON • Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino yesterday voiced his frustration that Belgium coach Roberto Martinez announced centre-back Jan Vertonghen would be injured until late November without telling the Premier League club first.

Vertonghen injured his hamstring in the 2-0 win at Huddersfield last week and was expected to return later this month.

However, Martinez announced his squad for the upcoming internationals yesterday, before revealing that Vertonghen would also miss the international break next month.

Speaking ahead of Spurs' home match with Cardiff in the Premier League, Pochettino expressed his unhappiness that there had been no communication from the Belgium camp. He also admitted his fears with the 31-year-old set to miss a crucial run of games.

"It was not a good injury. We're so disappointed with that. We'll see if it's six weeks or less. We hope as soon as possible it can be fixed but we cannot guess," the Argentinian told reporters.

"The communication is so difficult with all the national teams. Before my press conference, you knew about Vertonghen because Roberto told the media.

"They need to call us. If they call us, we are more than open to talk and give our opinion."

A prolonged absence for Vertonghen could not come at a worse time for the club, with their Champions League hopes in the balance after their 4-2 defeat - their second loss in Group B - by Barcelona at home on Wednesday.

After the international break, the games come thick and fast for Pochettino's men with a Champions League trip to PSV Eindhoven followed by the visit of Manchester City just two days before travelling to West Ham in the League Cup.

However, Cardiff are without a win this campaign. Spurs also have not lost to the Welsh side since 1977.

But Pochettino warned his side not to get complacent at Wembley, with Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier, Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele all missing through injury.

"It will be a tough game too. In the Premier League, there are no easy games," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Spurs upset by Belgium revealing Vertonghen injury'. Print Edition | Subscribe