Mauricio Pochettino has claimed his Tottenham side are at a disadvantage in the upcoming Champions League semi-final, after the Dutch football association postponed all Eredivisie fixtures this weekend to allow Ajax a rest ahead of the tie.
If Ajax overcome Tottenham, it will be the first time a Dutch side has reached the Champions League final since 1996. As such, Dutch league officials believe Ajax success would be excellent for their domestic competition and are willing to do their part in assisting Erik ten Hag's side.
Ajax finished runners-up to PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie last season and only goal difference separates the two sides in first and second, with just two games left. With the title on the line, the Dutch FA (KNVB) moved to postpone not just Ajax’s fixture but an entire weekend of fixtures ahead of the Dutch side travelling to London.
Pochettino spoke up on the matter this week in his press conference ahead of the West Ham game admitting the decision is unfair on his side. Tottenham’s game has been moved to an early kick-off by the Premier League, but the Argentine is still unhappy his side will have to play an extra game.
“The reality is they are going to have more time to prepare and avoid risk. When you play Saturday and then Tuesday, the concentration and effort is massive. They are going to avoid risks that we take,” Pochettino said via the Daily Mail.
“It's not a complaint. Only that it is not fair. I don't want to create a polemic, only that playing a Champions League semi-final, both teams must have the same time to prepare.”
Tottenham still have plenty to play for in the league themselves with their top-four place still not assured. A run of five straight away league defeats has seen Spurs position come under threat, while Saturday's home loss to West Ham marked a first in the new stadium.