Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino likened his side’s position in the Premier League title race to Fernando Alonso’s Formula One plight.
Despite a host of circumstances being against them, Spurs somehow find themselves still in contention at the top of the league and could go second – just four points behind leaders Liverpool – if they win the lunchtime kick-off against Newcastle on Saturday.
It is an impressive achievement given the lack of money they have spent this season compared to their top-four rivals, having gone through a second successive transfer window without signing anyone.
They have recently lost two of their best players in Harry Kane and Dele Alli to lengthy injuries – amid an endless battle with fitness issues in their squad – and are still playing at Wembley.
None of that is conducive to making a realistic title bid and Formula One fan Pochettino used the plight of Alonso to highlight his point.
The Spaniard, up against Lewis Hamilton in a far superior car, finished 11th in the drivers’ championship last season, something the Argentinian says was not down to his driving skills.
“When you work in football, it’s because you want to win,” he said. “When you are a player the only thing you want is to win.
“You can be a winner but if you don’t have the tools to win, it’s difficult. If you have the car to win and you are good, then you win.
“If you have the same car as another who is good, then one is going to win and the other is going to lose.
“Take the example of Fernando Alonso and compare with Hamilton. If you put Hamilton in McLaren last season and Alonso in Mercedes, it’s the same result: Hamilton at the bottom and Alonso at the top.
“I always put the same example. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are the best drivers in Formula One. But if you put Hamilton in McLaren last season and Alonso in Mercedes, it’s the same history, Hamilton on the bottom and Alonso on the top. That’s the reality.
“Where did Alonso finish last season with McLaren? I follow Formula One. I love McLaren. But it wasn’t competitive last season. That’s the reality, no? But do you think that’s a problem with Alonso or a problem with the car?”
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