Mauricio Pochettino says Hugo Lloris will learn from his chastening “life lesson” and has no concerns that his goalkeeper’s public shaming will affect his performances when he returns from injury.
Lloris appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to plead guilty to a charge of drink driving, and it emerged during the hearing that the Frenchman was more than twice over the legal limit, had veered towards parked cars and had driven through a red light.
The 31-year-old will now miss several weeks with a thigh injury, but Pochettino does not anticipate that the ordeal will affect his goalkeeper’s displays when he returns to the line-up.
“He is a man and he is very conscious about what happened, and of course you cannot remove it, but he has the capacity to move on, learn and be focused on playing football,” said Pochettino. “I have no doubt about that.
“He already knew in the moment that it was a big mistake. All the women, men, people can make a mistake. Of course he’s lucky there was no consequence — that is important — and it is a massive lesson for him, a life lesson. Now, because he is clever, he learns and he is going to move on.”
Pochettino was unsurprised by any of the details that emerged on Wednesday, having spoken to the player soon after last month’s arrest. He decided at the time to keep faith with the Frenchman as his captain but says Lloris was preparing himself for any and all punishments.
“Of course we had a conversation and he explained all that happened,” said Pochettino. “He apologised to everyone — the staff, the club, the fans, us — and he said ‘any decision that you take gaffer, or the club, I think is fair’.”
Pochettino has refused to divulge whether, in addition to the £50,000 fine and 20-month driving ban that Lloris received in court, he has also been fined by Tottenham.
“Like always that is an internal decision,” he said. “Every club has the right to explain what they want. For us, you didn’t know but all the things in the last four years that happened have been private and I think that we needed to deal with it privately.”
For Pochettino, Lloris’s situation is an example of the many distractions that take managers’ and players’ attentions away from preparing for matches.
Ahead of Saturday’s important clash with Liverpool at Wembley, he said: “I am learning a lot, because we arrive after two weeks [of the international break] and we didn’t talk too much about Liverpool, and the most important thing is the game on Saturday. We’re focusing on different things, like we were talking about before.
“You learn that today football is not only what happens on the pitch. It’s many things that happen around, and we need to be ready to deal with all these situations that in the end affect the result on the pitch.
“Of course it’s more complicated today to be a manager than 20 or 30 years ago.”