Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge reckons that starting Michel Vorm ahead of Hugo Lloris in the 2018 FA Cup semi-final was one of Mauricio Pochettino’s “biggest mistakes” at Tottenham.
What happened against Manchester United?
The Dutchman was Spurs’ cup goalkeeper and had started the last six games in the competition up until the last four stage.
However, with Tottenham looking to end their decade-long wait major for silverware, he was left with a major decision ahead of the meeting with Jose Mourinho’s United side.
He had to either bring the Frenchman back in, who earns £100,000-per-week, his captain and first-choice goalkeeper, or remain loyal to Vorm.
Despite the magnitude of the game, the former Tottenham boss opted for the latter despite Lloris starting the semi-final defeat to Chelsea 12 months earlier.
But Pochettino’s decision to pick Vorm would prove costly. His side did take an early lead through Dele Alli and had chances to go 2-0 ahead before Alexis Sanchez headed the Red Devils level.
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Mourinho’s team would go on to complete the turnaround when Ander Herrera drilled home a second-half winner, although his effort went straight down the middle and should have been saved by Vorm.
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It would prove to be Tottenham’s eighth consecutive semi-final defeat in the FA Cup and Bridge reckons that it turned out to be one of the Argentine’s most costly errors.
What did Bridge say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Don’t get me started on Michel Vorm. Whenever Pochettino put him in for cup games, he’d drop a clanger.
“One of Poch’s biggest mistakes for Tottenham was the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United. He put Lloris on the bench and Vorm – the second goal Lloris would have saved.”
Why should Lloris have started?
It’s difficult to know whether the result would have been different if the Frenchman had played, but there’s every chance he would have got down and saved Herrera’s winner.
You can see why Pochettino remained loyal to Vorm following his lack of chances in the Premier League and Champions League during his reign, but this was a perfect example of when the 49-year-old needed to show his ruthless side.
Pochettino did a brilliant job at transforming Tottenham into top-four regulars, but his record in the domestic cups was questionable and decisions like this didn’t help his case to win trophies.