Mauricio Pochettino Has A Difficult Task Ahead This Season5 min read
While the two impressive wins in the Champions League against Manchester City and Ajax distracted Tottenham’s fans last season from their dire Premier League form, they now have no opportunity but to face the reality that things are not as positive as they once were.
Sitting in seventh with four points from a possible nine is disappointing to say the least. Their latest match, which ended in a 1-0 away win for Newcastle United, broadcasted a lot of weaknesses that are yet to be patched up.
The difficulty that Mauricio Pochettino faces is how far he can take this Spurs side. Reaching a Champions League final last season was the club’s greatest moment in the past decade, which eventually turned into a loss and a pitiful performance. Liverpool, who by all accounts played in second gear, dominated the game and barely let Tottenham have a sniff.
And so, with the crux and core of his squad now weighing up different options, it is hard for Pochettino to continue to motivate them at the level that is needed. Christian Eriksen, for example, has been one of Spurs’ best players since arriving from Ajax in 2013, but after six years, the Denmark international openly expressed to the world that he was looking for a new challenge.
Eriksen made those comments at the beginning of the summer transfer window, which has until Monday 02 September to run. The likelihood now of a move to Real Madrid, his preferred destination, appears far in the distance and a pipe dream. And so it creates a problem inside the dressing room for Pochettino to solve if players are beginning to become disgruntled and wanting away.
An issue that has arisen over the past two years has been the club’s lack of quality squad depth. There is one thing having players to fill in, but another, like Man City, to have those squad members to come in when the time is needed and put a shift in to garner the result they need. Spurs have not had that previously and even with their new additions, still look slightly short of options in attack.
With the North London Derby at the Emirates happening this weekend, Tottenham need to dig deep and find a way back to playing some of their best football shown in Europe last season. Throughout the majority of 2019, Spurs have been poor domestically, but have found moments of brilliance in the Champions League.
Pochettino has been a manager in demand for the past 12 months, which is why some suggest his head has been turned somewhat, but he is professional enough to put that to one side and focus solely on the club he is with. With his philosophy of pressing in the opposition’s third, Spurs need their attacking players to come into form and be relentless against an Arsenal defence that has leaked goals.
At this moment, with the season having only just begun, Spurs’ fans should not be overly anxious. There is cause for concern over the motivation of certain key leaders in the dressing room, but Pochettino knows better than all as to whether they will become a disruptive influence or not, as seen with the Argentinean manager keeping Eriksen on the bench for the time being.
A lot can change in football in a very short time with a few results, but Spurs need to make their mark on this season with a fine performance against their North London rivals.