Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has proved during his time at the club that he is no one-trick pony.
While the Argentine is known for his high-pressing tactic, he has displayed a lot of tactical versatility during his time at the club.
From playing with a back five, playing with two sitters in midfield, to even employing a midfield diamond, he is never hesitant to change his approach based on the requirements of each game.
For example, a couple of weeks ago against Arsenal, Tottenham preferred to soak up pressure and counter the Gunners quickly, while for the subsequent tie against Palace, they pressed with incredible intensity and played an extremely high backline.
Tottenham skipper Hugo Lloris has now revealed that the team works on two or three systems every week in training and the manager usually reveals at the end which system they are going to adopt for a game.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Lloris discussed the differences between Rugby and Football alongside the captain of France’s rugby national team, Guilhem Guirado.
When the discussion came to the topic of preparation for games, the Spurs goalkeeper said, “At club level with Tottenham, we sometimes work on two or three systems throughout the week and, at the last moment, bam! The manager decides to throw in another one.”
When asked by Guirado if the players can sometimes get lost when that happens, Lloris responded, “No, because there’s continuity to it. It’s more difficult with the national team because the time together is so short every year.
“That’s why I attach a lot of importance to the preparation period before a competition. That’s the moment where success is created. It’s the moment when the manager can put his idea together. It’s impossible in just a few days, especially when there’s a coming and going of players”.
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It is certainly an asset if a team is equally comfortable playing multiple systems as that helps them manage matches better. However, in contrast, someone like Pep Guardiola rarely seems to change his system based on the opposition and instead seems to be focused on perfecting Plan A. While footballing philosophy has a lot to do with this difference in approach, it also depends on the players at one’s disposal.
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