Pochettino: Show England stars a little more love

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Mauricio Pochettino believes people in this country should show a “little more love” to their top footballing stars.

The Spurs boss was again forced to come out in defence of striker Harry Kane after the official FA Cup Twitter account mocked him after last weekend’s semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

They posted a meme of United defender Chris Smalling saying Kane’s name, with text asking who had been in his pocket, something Pochettino labelled as “embarrassing”.

It is the second episode of ridicule at Kane’s expense in a matter of weeks after fans and fellow professionals poked fun at the striker after he claimed his side’s second goal at Stoke, despite Christian Eriksen being awarded it.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Emirates FA Cup – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
Tottenham’s Harry Kane, left, and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, right, battle for the ball during the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

Pochettino struggles to understand why England’s top players are not shown more support, especially in a World Cup year.

He said: “Yes it is a little bit strange from my point of view.

“Both (Kane and Alli) are massive talents and they are going to defend the England national team shirt.

“It is fashion sometimes to boo or criticise like this, I think people love them, but it is true sometimes we magnify the situation and we create an issue when really there is not an issue.

“But yes, sometimes it is difficult to understand. It is so difficult to understand this tweet from the FA after the game of course.

“For me the most important thing here in England is try to back English players, English talent, because it is so important for English football to back them because he is going to compete in international games or the World Cup or Euro.

“Everyone wants to support the national team and then if Harry Kane scores he is an English player not a Tottenham player or United or Chelsea, something like that.

“The most important thing is to back them. Of course when you defend your team here, OK.

Happy St George’s Day. ??? #ThreeLions #stgeorgesday #england

A post shared by Harry Kane (@harrykane) on

“When we talk about passion, when we talk about to feel you are proud to defend your country and everything, we need to be careful in the way we send messages or the way we write or give our opinion.”

Pochettino was scathing of the offending social media post, which was retweeted thousands of times before being deleted.

He said: “For me it was embarrassing. It was a shame because the FA is English football and a potential captain like Harry Kane in the World Cup I think was difficult to understand, very, very difficult.

“Of course they apologised about that. It disappointed me, the situation, the fact it happened. They apologised after a few days but we move on.”

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