Few could have predicted how bad a start Tottenham Hotspur have made to their new campaign.
The side still find themselves winless away from home in competitive competition since January and have only managed two clean sheets in 11 games.
The defensive solidarity, aggression and work ethic that were the hallmarks of Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs seem to have completely disappeared.
There have been suggestions that the players feel overworked and that they have become tired of the same old messages and tactics from the Argentine (the Athletic).
Former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp has insisted that he saw these problems coming even before the start of the season.
The 46-year-old said that the moment that he knew things would unravel was when the Spurs manager made the remark in the preseason about being the first team coach rather than the manager (the Sun).
In his column for the Daily Mail, Redknapp wrote: “The moment I knew there was trouble on the horizon at Tottenham Hotspur was at the start of the season, when Mauricio Pochettino told us to refer to him as the ‘coach’ rather than the ‘manager’.
“This was Pochettino letting us all know that he was in the dark about transfers and contract talks — and that is wrong. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is so lucky to have this man working for him. This is one of the best bosses in world football, and he should be backed like it, too.”
He added: “Levy is a brilliant businessman, but I can’t help feeling Tottenham missed the opportunity of a lifetime two years ago. They were in a superb position, one from which they could have properly kicked on.
“Yet their strict salary cap and lack of spending has held them back. They have stood still while others have caught up. Arsenal used to look way behind their north London rivals but not anymore. The same goes for Chelsea and Leicester City, both of whom are now fighting with Spurs for a top-four finish.
“Treating Tottenham like a business rather than a football club is not right. That is not what it is about. Supporters don’t buy tickets to go to that beautiful stadium because the numbers on the spreadsheets add up. Or because they know their wage bill is less than that of their rivals.
“They turn up to watch their team play together and win together. They want to see a side being competitive, fighting for the biggest trophies. Yes, you can be applauded for bringing in players on the cheap, but you also need to buy the big names.
“You need those ready made stars in your squad if you are to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. Not only that, you need to pay them properly, too. Otherwise, players will refuse to sign contracts – as we have seen with Christian Eriksen and Co – and the squad will grow unsettled. All this has left Pochettino looking like a defeated man on that touchline.
“Levy has to take his share of the blame for the sorry situation they are in. A lot of fingers have been pointed at Poch but that’s not right. Sacking the Argentine is not the answer. Spurs would only miss him when he’s gone. It would be better to start backing him.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While one cannot accuse Levy of not backing Pochettino last summer, the problem was that the club failed to get rid of players who were surplus to requirements It looks like Tottenham’s failure to refresh the squad has now caught up with them as the players look devoid of ideas on the pitch and seem to be going through the motions at the minute.
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