Former Spurs midfielder critical of Pochettino’s tactics

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Former Spurs midfielder Matthew Etherington has told talkSPORT Mauricio Pochettino got his tactics all wrong against Manchester United.

We were humbled in our FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, throwing away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 and
unable to breakdown a stubborn Jose Mourinho team once we went behind.

Pochettino made several changes and Etherington, who helped Spurs to a League Cup final in 2002, believes the Argentine boss’ reluctance to play his best team, despite behind the scenes politics, was baffling.

Etherington said: “[Pochettino] has done a brilliant job at Tottenham in the four and a half years he’s been there. He’s been sensational and the team is moving forward, I don’t think anyone can dispute that but yesterday I do think he got that wrong”

He added “[Hugo] Lloris, for me, should have played. [David] De Gea was in there for the big semi-final at Wembley, the big occasion. And [Toby] Alderweireld as well, again, he’s just come back from injury but he’s their best defender along with [Jan] Vertonghen – you play your best players in your biggest games.

He added: “[Alderweireld] has been brilliant for Spurs. Yesterday was the perfect game to chuck him in, even though there is politics going on outside the football pitch, just chuck him in.In the big games, the big players tend to turn up. He would have done yesterday and he would have been a massive asset to the team.

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  1. Agree completely, plus Kane should never have started.
    Unfortunately Poch a nice guy average manages but tactally clueless.

    If the managers roles were reversed yesterday, Poch managing Man U and Maurinho managing spurs SPURS WOULD HAVE WON!!

  2. Nothing to do with Poch it’s the player’s, time and time again they just drop off with no urgency or fight in their approach to a situation in certain games then always come out with ” We have to learn from this and move on” When will!! they learn? Not one of them will stand up and take the blame for results like this

  3. Totally agree on Toby and Lucas starting and that Poch really doesn’t see the big picture. He makes me angry when he says things like “we don’t need to win this cup or that one.” It totally plays into how he loses these big games. It starts with winning A cup. That brings a winning mentality.

    I like him better than most managers, but he is starting to lose my faith that he will turn Spurs round the corner.

  4. I’m sad. Mauricio Pochettino is a ‘nearly’ manager & Spurs have become
    a ‘nearly’ team, with, ‘nearly’ ambitions. That is, we are, and continue to
    be, (that dreaded adjective) ‘Spursy’.

    Pochettino has bought into this attitude. He now worries me; quite badly.

    This game doesn’t matter, in the ‘grand scheme of things’. Sorry, every game
    matters, ‘in the grand scheme of things’. Pochettino’s psychology is suspect.

    He has, no doubt, taken Tottenham to a new level, but the level has already
    levelled off. God forbid, that Chelski will overtake us, for fourth place. He could
    well be manager for many years to come, but, has Mauricio himself, become

    The team won’t have the ‘killer’ instinct, if the head-boy’s psychology doesn’t
    ‘match-up’. Also, we lack ‘class’ players. We have some great, average, or slightly
    above average players. Against MANU, we were up against players who are a class above.
    We were up against a rival manager, who is a class above our own. Sadly, this is the case,
    at this time.

    There is such a thing as, ‘a winning-mentality’. The teams that win things, know how to win.
    They expect to win. Fans expect them to win. Poch gives the impression, that he expects, ‘a
    winning-mentality’, but, he goes on to undermine this, by ‘down-playing’ the expectations of
    his players. We did great, but, we lost: ‘Spursy’. It DOES matter, to win the FA Cup/other. It
    adds to the mentality, necessary to win.

    The psychology is WRONG! The press, pundits, etc, poke fun, because we have pretty much
    become a joke: nearly men. The FA, the professional body that runs football in this country,
    poked fun at Harry Kane. The jumped on the proverbial band-wagon. They effectively sold-out
    and joined in the ‘Spursy’ comments that other clubs and their players, have made recently,
    particularly against Harry Kane. That’s how you boost the confidence of one of the main men
    who will play for the national team, when the season finishes. It has become fashionable, to
    ‘troll’ Harry Kane. It has become a national sport. It undermines his confidence. Ergo: it has
    an effect on the team.

    Tottenham may finish the season as the highest-placed London team, but, don’t be kidded,
    we are, in part, in this lofty position, due to the fact, that both Chelski & Arsenal, have
    fallen on hard times. The ‘Conte’ effect, has worn off & he may be off, to pastures new, very

    Venger, too, has stagnated, & has called time, before time called him. He grossly overstayed
    his welcome & his team has become a shadow of their former selves. He has lived off his high
    reputation, for two decades. Arsene has become ‘Spursy’. 2003-2004 season, was never
    matched again: amazing as it was.

    It seemed that beating Tottenham every season, was success enough. The mustard wasn’t cut.
    Yes, they’ve won 3 FA cups. For Arsenal, it’s not enough. For Tottenham, it would have been more
    than enough. it would have been amazing! We do not expect, so we aren’t disappointed. We play great football, but, we win FA.

    Periods of change, will, no doubt, take place in Highbury & at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham has overtaken
    Arsenal, this last two seasons. I’m not kidded. We are fourth, but, actually we are still sixth, really.

    However, a period of change needs to happen in Tottenham. There is a lot of dead-wood. Pruning should
    take place at the end of the growing-season. However, we won’t get class players, because we won’t pay
    class wages. Yes, we have a great coach. Yes, we have a great training ground. Yes, we have a brand new
    stadium. NO, we don’t have class players. We accept mediocrity.

    Janssen – didn’t cut the mustard.
    NKoudo – ditto
    N’jie – ditto
    Sissoko – ditto
    Llorente – ditto
    Aurier – ditto

    Walker wanted out & went
    Rose wants out…………….
    Alderweireld wants out……….
    Dier wanted out……………….

    Remember Paulinho – OMG!
    Remember Roberto the soldier?
    He could score goals all over the
    planet, but, not for us?? WHY?

    Moura looks like a player, but doesn’t play

    Pochettino may………………………………?

    All this said, apparently, Eriksen, Vertonghen,
    Lloris & one or two others, want to stay. WHY?

    Because they want to play for the manager.

    Is that enough? COYS! I’m still in love with you.


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