Spurs boss suggests rule change enabling all squad players to sit on the bench

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested a rule change increasing the number of players who can sit on the bench in the Premier League and allowing managers to introduce anyone from their squad during a game.

Italian teams in Serie A have been allowed to put 12 players on the bench since 2012, and Pochettino would like a discussion about whether English football should follow suit.

Spurs’ head coach was asked about Andros Townsend’s situation at White Hart Lane, with the winger seemingly set to leave after being unable to get an appearance for the first team since October 22.

The 24-year-old was omitted from the squad again last night when a weakened Spurs side took on Leicester City in their FA Cup third-round replay.

Pochettino said: “You know that the rules in football and the Premier League is you can only pick 18 players, and 11 on the pitch.

“Maybe we will change the rules like Italy so that you can put all the players on the bench that you have in the squad. Maybe it will be better and help the managers in the future. This is a good point to start to discuss with the FA Cup and Premier League because I think maybe it would be a very good thing.

“We need to analyse and assess that because you know all the problems happen when some players are out of the squad or not involved in the 18 players. You have the facility to have 24 or 25 players in the squad, and always you need to leave out seven or eight players.

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“Sometimes some players deserve to play but it’s impossible because you can only pick 18. Maybe it’s better you decide your starting 11 but all of the squad is on the bench and you can use every player that you have in the squad.

“I think maybe it’s a good rule to analyse, to assess, and maybe to start to discuss for the future to try to help the players and the clubs.

“If not, we need to stop at 18 senior players and if you have some injuries you have youngsters from the Under-21s. It’s difficult to understand but I think it’s a good point to start to discuss in the future in the Premier League.”

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