According to an article on ESPN Mauricio Pochettino said he was left wide-eyed with shock at Tottenham’s defeatist mentality when he first joined the club, revealing that some people were actually scared of playing the likes West Ham and Queens Park Rangers.
The article said that Pochettino’s Spurs proved that they can beat anyone with a brilliant 3-1 win over La Liga, European and world champions Real Madrid on Wednesday — one of the standout results in the club’s recent history.
However it does say when Pochettino first arrived in May 2014, some people at Spurs were worried about playing West Ham and Harry Redknapp’s QPR his first two league games.
We won both, but it was the reaction that prompted Pochettino to start changing the mentality at the club and he hopes he has altered the perception of Tottenham over time.
“Our first game was against West Ham and everyone was, ‘Wow, it’s West Ham’ because Tottenham lost three times to them in the season before [I arrived],”: Pochettino said
Pochettino continued: “Then it was QPR at home — Harry Redknapp in charge. When the Premier League fixtures were announced, people were so, ‘Wow, look we are starting the season against West Ham then Harry Redknapp comes to White Hart Lane!’
“And my face was like the emoticon with the big eyes! We are Tottenham, come on! From that moment, we started to work hard to change that perception. We are Tottenham. We must be there and must feel we can smash everyone. I don’t care if it’s West Ham or QPR with Harry Redknapp. We won and we won again. And then we started to go downhill!
Pochettino added “It was a massive challenge. All those people like the fans and staff who love Tottenham felt disappointed for the history of the club. We try to change those things. We were very realistic in our assessment and of course it’s trying to create a project and an idea and change a mentality that was here.”
The article continues saying before Pochettino arrived, the team were still capable of big results — Redknapp guided them to the Champions League quarterfinals — but mentions we would often fail to live up to expectations in the smaller games, leading to the term “Spursy.”
“To be honest, I have heard it a few times,” Pochettino said. “I heard people say we are not that anymore!”
The article then says that Pochettino’s critics can still point to the lack of silverware since he joined the club however Pochettino added, not for the first time, that Spurs are involved in a gradual process and pointed to Fergie’s record, and how it took till his seventh season before things got going for him at Manchester United.
“I always say the same and explain the same when people ask me [about trophies],” Pochettino said. “Man United with Ferguson spend six years and in year seven won the title. And it is completely different today in the Premier League, when you compare with the other teams that compete with us, for me it is a very successful period.
“But, for me, and I repeat: for Tottenham to win a title it is to win the Champions League or the Premier League. The other cups, of course, I would like to win but it is more about luck because it depends on the draw.
Pochettino continued: “And there are a lot of examples that it is not always a success to win a title. Look at Leicester. Ranieri win the title for Leicester and is sacked after a few months. I think we are in a different project and for me of course but I would like to win because I love to win.
“I am a winner. I feel I am a winner and of course I want to win a title but at the moment we are working hard and giving our best to try to achieve that but there are many things happening in the club and that project that we feel that we are winning.”
Pochettino hinted at changes to his team for the visit of Palace to Wembley, saying the physical and mental effort required to beat Real was “massive.”
Have something to tell us about this article?