Pochettino assesses the season so far and looks ahead to Christmas

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We are now more than a third of the way through the 2018/2019 season, and it has been a largely positive year for Tottenham.

Despite the drama surrounding their new stadium, Spurs have been remarkably steady in the Premier League, and now sit third in the table.

A top three finish would represent a pretty successful season for Spurs, cementing Champions League football for next season in the new ground.

Tottenham also remain in all four competitions this season, with a pivotal crunch match against Barcelona in the Champions League this week.

If they win it, they’re in the knockouts, if they lose or draw, they are probably in the Europa League. Either way, they will still be in Europe.

In recent years Tottenham have typically done very well around Christmas time when the games come thick and fast.

Perhaps this has something to do with the superior fitness of this current Tottenham crop, compared to many of the other Prem sides.

Pochettino reflected on the season so far (Football London): “I think we assess it as last season, in that period, we had six points less. I think now we have maybe nine points more than last season. I don’t know. I saw before the Southampton game but now I don’t know it after 15 games. I think we finished the first half of the season with 34 and now we have 33. I have a good memory.

“I think you can say in some points we improve, you can say so far so good. I don’t know everyone cant take in the way that they want. But for me it is always about assessing the season at the end. How you finish at the end is the most important. You can be on the top today or 10th, but if after you achieve all that you want in the end then that is the most important thing.

“It is how you are going to finish. At the moment I think we are fighting in the Premier League, of course. We are arriving in a very decisive game against Barcelona – a must-win game.

“I think we are in situation that for many people maybe didn’t believe that after all that happened in the summer, but I think the believe that we have in this team and we create is so strong. And it gives us the possibility to fight for big things when no one counts on us.

“Remember after the transfer window was closed, [we had] no signings, the people was so pessimistic. After arrived the stadium, that we need to delete and play in Wembley again. The people were so pessimistic about our future. But we are fighting like the previous season and that is a massive credit for the club and players of course.”

When asked about Tottenham’s great December record, Poch said: “Look it is true that this season is completely different than the previous season, because in the previous season we had a proper preseason. Now it is a challenge. It is a challenge for us in the future – how we are going to perform.

“It is all knew. I think for us, for many clubs it is the same, not only us, different clubs have a lot of injuries too. It is not easy because it does not only depend that you are training, your preparation, your method, you depend too because you know that period there could be some virus or illness or cold or flu.

“There are plenty of things, sometimes it does not only depend how you are going to manage the rest, how you are going to rotate the players, or if you are going to train more or less.

“It is plenty of things that you need to care [about]. That is why it is so busy and tough for the player, but it is so difficult for the staff and for the medical staff. That is why I want to say thank you because all the medical staff – of course the nutritionists, the people here – they are working a lot to try and help and provide the best tools to the players to be ready to compete. Yes it is so tough for everyone.”

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