Mauricio Pochettino gave an incredulous shrug on Friday when it was suggested that his side’s 1-1 draw away to European champions Real Madrid this week was his best result since taking, over according to Reuters.
“A 1-1 draw?” was Mauricio’s response when asked the question at Hotspur Way on Friday.
Pochettino responded:”It proved we can compete with the top clubs,”: he said. “Which was the plan when we started three years ago.”
The report continues saying Pochettino took far more pride from the fact that the result against Madrid was achieved with four key players injured or suspended and a line-up that surprised even some of those closest to him.
Jan Vertonghen was moved to left back, Poch then went with a three-man central midfield including Harry Winks but perhaps the biggest surprise of all was a start for new signing Fernando Llorente in an ambitious two-pronged attack with Harry Kane.
The piece continues telling how Pochettino went against the usual pressing game we are renowned for & instead instructed his side to sit deeper, and all in all it seemed a risky time to experiment but it worked.
Pochettino said it proved his teams new found flexibility to adapt. The Spurs manager continued: “I think maybe last season people said what is Tottenham’s Plan B,”
”It’s only risky if you haven’t worked in training to make the players more flexible and have the confidence to play in different shapes and systems. If they can’t accept that you are dead. It’s a risk to play players who can’t cope with the job you expect from them.
“The most important thing is that we have a plan. But now I think we have created different ways to play while still keeping the philosophy of the team… I‘m so proud that our players accept and believe we can play differently from one game to another.”
Pochettino’s progress with Tottenham has already caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs especially with his ability to utilise youth players at the club like Winks or purchasing good value young players with potential like Davinson Sanchez and the Argentine said:”It’s about trying to find the right time and the place to give them the opportunity to play,”
“Winks showed great personality and quality. He didn’t surprise me. Davinson is 21 but looks older. We’ve still not had time to work with him to understand new concepts. It’s tough to arrive and play with not many training sessions with the group but he has shown great quality.”
The importance of the next few weeks at Spurs was not lost on Pochettino. We face Liverpool and Manchester United next week before Real Madrid come to town and also a north London derby also looms.
“I think every single game in the next three weeks will be like a cup final. It’s a good experience for us and it’s a period for us to learn a lot,”
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