Opinion – Mauricio Pochettino – is the pressure starting to show?

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

He’s been given a dream opportunity at Tottenham. Firstly, impose his philosophy across the football structure. This was to crack getting into the top four. He had 5 years to deliver. He overachieved, doing this within a year and, furthermore, established consistent top-four finishes over the space of four years. 

He left Southampton because he needed a club that wouldn’t sell his players. He wanted to create and build. He’s been allowed that at Spurs. Other than Walker and Trippier, we have not sold a player of note. By all accounts, both these were Pochettino decisions. 

He’s had free reign to oversee all development teams. To endorse his philosophy. Players have improved under his guidance. They trust him. He trusts them. Levy promised him a club that was going to challenge economically. Levy has started to deliver. Poch has definitely delivered. 

So what pressures is Pochettino starting to face?

Players Contracts

He overcame the Rose issues. He now faces a few senior players who are not willing to extend contracts. It’s the first real player pressure he’s faced. It’s the first real hurdle he must overcome. Levy had the chance to sell Alderweireld and Eriksen for serious money over a year ago, yet he didn’t. They tried offering new contracts, but they wouldn’t sign. 

In my opinion, this was an error by Pochettino. He faced a real threat to his team. He should have stood up, dropped them both and stated sign new contracts or go. The money could have bought good replacements. He and Levy missed the opportunity for replacing. It wouldn’t surprise me if both stay this summer and go in either January or a free next summer. 

Recognition

Pochettino must feel miffed that he’s not shown the respect that his work deserves. Not from within the club, but by the media and a section of fans. 

Spurs overachieved for the last 4 seasons, make no mistake on that. They were written off each year, yet defied all odds and did everything asked except win a trophy or two. 

He has witnessed the onslaught aimed at the club. The constant undermining of his players wanting to move. He’s watched a club building a superb stadium, and yet seen his chairman constantly attacked by both Spurs fans and others. 

This surely must get to him

Telltale signs

Pochettino has become spikey. He’s making odd decisions and saying odd things. He’s becoming a little erratic. 

He’s being misunderstood for certain, but he’s adding fuel to that. 

His emotional breakdown in the UCL away to City

So, what’s happened in the last 12 months?

His team has developed for 5 years. It’s more or less made up of the same players. They delivered 3 years or more ahead of schedule. The club wasn’t ready. If truth be told, I don’t think Pochettino was either. 

Key senior players becoming restless. This was a new pressure for him. 

Criticism of not winning against Liverpool in the UCL final. He made odd choices and stated odd things too. He looked a little bit out of his comfort zone.

Pressure is not coming from others at the club. It’s coming from himself. 

Spurs have gone from calling themselves overachiever to now underachiever. That’s a big pressure.

What next?

This season will be massive for him. It will be one that either shows him jumping to the next level or failing.

This is no longer about the players being good enough, it’s about Pochettino and his ability to accept how to win.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Luckily it’s just your opinion. A few holes here and there with your subjective view. He left Soton because their sports director got sacked and Poch made it clear that if he left than he would too. It’s well documented, you should know this. The other stuff is reaching a bit and easy to say from the outside looking in.

  2. Actually Jonathan I owe you an apology, by all accounts he did say he wouldn’t stay if Nikola Cortez left. He further added that it was her ambition that he joined for. A club without her would not be the same direction any more.
    However, this is my point….he stayed after she left in January until the season ended. He didn’t like the new Chairman selling players and that forced his hand.
    Can we agree we are both right? ?

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