Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he wants the full playing squad to feature in Saturday’s pre-match Champions League final team photo.
Only the starting XI appears in every pre-game snap, but the Argentine wants to break with convention and is looking to involve all 23 players this time around.
The new UEFA substitution rule means both Spurs and Liverpool are allowed to have up to 12 players on the substitute bench, compared to the seven replacements teams were earlier permitted.
Both teams are also allowed to make an additional substitute in extra time after the standard number of three might have been exhausted during regulation time, and Pochettino feels every player should appear in the team picture, as a sub – who misses out on the pre-match snap – might make all the difference in such a game.
“Always I was so upset, because the picture is the starting XI and then, if you win the final, only those eleven players are going to be on the wall. And that upset me, because maybe some guy came from the bench, scored twice and was the hero. But in the history it’s only the starting XI and ‘Oh, that is the team that won the final’,” the Spurs boss said during Monday’s press conference (as reported by Sportmail).
“What I want is all the players before the start of the game — 22 or 23 — in the picture on the pitch. That is the team that won or lost. In the Bernabeu [in 2006 when Espanyol beat Real Zaragoza] we did that. I was one of the captains and I said: “I want it so that everyone is on the wall, on the picture, if this team win the final. Not only eleven. That is completely unfair.”
“People care a lot about that. The players care more than we believe. When I was a player I always fought with the organisation and the club. And the same now I’m a manager. I’m going to propose it [for the Champions League final]. I understand that after, the starting XI is going to be there. But I want to tell the club: ‘Don’t use the [photo of the] starting XI, use the whole squad.'”
Pochettino always finds a way to boost the psychological strength of his team, and allowing every player to feature in the photograph will no doubt go a long way in making the used and unused subs feel important.