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?
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.
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
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.
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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