‘He simply wasn’t 100 per cent fit’: Alan Shearer slams decision to start Harry Kane in Champions League final and says Mauricio Pochettino got ‘gamble’ wrong
- Alan Shearer has criticised Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to start Harry Kane
- The England captain recovered from injury to face Liverpool on Saturday night
- Spurs were defeated 2-0 courtesy goals from Mo Salah and Divock Origi
- Pochettino elected to start Kane in place of semi-final hero Lucas Moura
- Shearer believes the Spurs boss ‘gambled’ wrong and that Kane was ‘not fit’
Published: 19:07 EDT, 2 June 2019 | Updated: 19:07 EDT, 2 June 2019
The former Newcastle striker added that the current England captain was ‘clearly not fit’ and that Lucas Moura would have been a better option for Spurs.
Tottenham ultimately suffered a heart-breaking 2-0 defeat at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s side, courtesy of a second minute penalty from Mo Salah and a late strike from substitute Divock Origi.
Alan Shearer has criticised Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino for starting Harry Kane
Kane faced a race against time to be fit for the final and took the place of Lucas Moura
And writing in a column for the Sun, Sheared laid the blame firmly on the Argentinian coach for electing to start star man Kane.
‘I’m sure Pochettino agonised over whether to start Harry Kane but he got that one wrong,’ wrote Shearer.
‘Kane didn’t look fit at all and didn’t turn up in Madrid — he was nowhere near as sharp as he could and should have been.
‘He may never feature in a European Cup final again so he would have been desperate to play. But you have to judge him on his performance and he simply wasn’t 100 per cent fit.
‘To play one was a gamble, to play two who haven’t played for that long was a huge risk and it didn’t pay off.
Moura had scored a hat-trick in the semi-final against Ajax but he was benched in Madrid
‘I’m sure Pochettino will be thinking “If only”. If only he had done something different. Lucas Moura could have offered them an alternative way of playing.’
Kane faced a race against time to be fit for the final after picking up an ankle injury in the first leg of Tottenham’s quarter-final against Manchester City.
He was ruled out for the rest of Spurs’ domestic campaign, and despite his absence, Pochettino’s side secured a top-four finish and reached the final of the Champions League.
Moura scored a vital hat-trick in the semi-finals of the competition against Ajax but was overlooked on Saturday in favour of the returning Kane.
And Pochettino insisted at full-time that he had no regrets about his decision.
Mauricio Pochettino dismissed criticism and stood by his decision to start the England captain
‘The problem is you create a history or a drama but it’s not about playing with Harry Kane or Lucas Moura,’ he said.
‘That is the thing that was important or not important.
‘It’s a decision and, of course, for me, Harry Kane after one month and a half finished the game fresh.
‘He didn’t score like other players. It’s not a point to talk too much. My decision, I promise, was about analytics and thinking with all the information. I don’t regret my decision.’