Mauricio Pochettino all smiles after getting another decision right at Tottenham Hotspur
PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 November 2017
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Spurs boss delighted with Paulo Gazzaniga and goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez after Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace
Mauricio Pochettino praised Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
With Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm both sidelined, Argentine Paulo Gazzaniga was handed his Spurs debut.
The former Southampton stopper played his part in the victory as well after making a string of saves at Wembley.
After the match, Pochettino heaped praise on Jimenez after helping youngsters Alfie Whiteman and Brandon Austin develop in recent months too.
“I think Paulo’s performance was fantastic. It was his debut at Wembley and I think he deserves a lot of praise,” said Spurs’ manager.
“He was very calm and then he made a few amazing saves, so for me he was fantastic, but who also deserves big praise? Our goalkeeping coach and showman Toni Jimenez.
“Toni does a fantastic job with all the goalkeepers, including the younger ones, and we had Alfie on the bench and he works with Brandon too.
“They are 19 and 18-years-old and they work with the academy coaches too, but I’m very happy for Paulo because it’s not easy to make your debut in these conditions as well.”
It wasn’t all straightforward for Gazzaniga with the third-choice goalkeeper nearly getting caught out in the second half when Wilfried Zaha rounded him, but fired wide.
Yet in the end, the contribution of the Spurs custodian was crucial and it is another key decision Pochettino has got right.
Many eyebrows were raised in the summer when Tottenham brought in Gazzaniga, but it has now helped them earn three valuable points.
Despite Whiteman and Austin possessing plenty of potential, neither is probably ready to start for Spurs.
But, had Tottenham not signed the Argentine in August, one of the two teenagers would have had to face Palace and may not have been so successful in keeping the Premier League strugglers at bay.
Whether it was by luck or good judgement, Pochettino’s decision to bring in Gazzaniga has paid off and it is the latest in a long list of choices made by the Spurs boss in recent months which has proved crucial.