According to The London Evening Standard the Tottenham squad were quick to notice Mauricio Pochettino’s words once he had finished his post-match media duties at Wembley.
Caught up in the emotion of defeat for the first time Pochettino had invited Tottenham to consider a future without him. To be clear: Pochettino volunteered this himself, rather than in response to a specific question, and did so in both broadcast interviews and then in the press conference for newspapers. “Tottenham need more time, with me or another,” he said.
However the article adds that the club have been quick to play down the significance of Pochettino’s remarks arguing that the Argentine was merely disappointed at the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United and was speaking less than an hour after the final whistle, when emotions were still running high.
His current contract runs until 2021 and the article adds that the club are likely to offer him a new one in the coming weeks, adding that they are delighted with his work and expect him to be in charge next season, which the club hope will be their first in their new 62,000-seat stadium, a project that has cost more than £800million.
However Standard Sport understands some players were surprised at learning what Pochettino had said.
Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen among them and for the quartet Pochettino’s presence is fundamental. If he were to agree another improved contract, it would make everything else flow more smoothly.
If not it is shaping to be a tricky summer in N17 and players like Kane, Alli and Christian Eriksen know they could earn substantially higher salaries elsewhere, but all have signed new deals at Spurs in the last two years mainly because of their rapport with Pochettino, and because they believe in his work.
The article goes on to say Pochettino believes the squad needs to be stronger if Tottenham are to make the final jump from nearly men to winners.
It adds that Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembeleand Fernando Llorente could all depart before the start of next season, with new defenders are a priority, with Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon on the list along with Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle.
The article adds that there is also a long-standing interest in Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha although the asking price is likely to be very high, Zaha also last week hinted at a Palace stay, and the club already have a number of attacking midfielders in our ranks.
The article goes on to say that If the players suspect their manager has doubts about the future, it is certain to influence their thinking when they consider whether to sign again. Apart from Dembele, all Tottenham’s key men are under contract for at least two more seasons, with Kane’s and Alli’s deals expiring in 2022.
However they will want to know Pochettino’s intentions before they make clear their own, adding that more than anyone, Pochettino keeps this Tottenham squad focused and – generally – united.
The feeling at the club is that even though this has been another season without a trophy, the team deserve huge credit if they secure a third consecutive top-four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League.
The hierarchy at club appreciate the way Pochettino has managed the season at Wembley, turning it from the hoodoo it was into a venue where they have lost only twice in the Premier League.
The article concludes by saying Pochettino may need to reflect on his approach to the FA Cup, in which his normally excellent judgment has been poor. It goes on to say that he has consistently said that winning the competition “would not change the life” of the club, a view that was not shared by the players or the supporters. If it is good enough for Manchester United, why not Tottenham?
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