The Tottenham players and Mauricio Pochettino have come under some heavy criticism after their poor start to the season.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Southampton, the Spurs manager insisted that he accepts the criticism leveled at him and the team.
He claimed that the criticism is indicative of the fact that people now have high expectations of Tottenham on the back of their recent achievements.
The Argentine told Football.London, “I say what I say before. I respect all the opinions and if we lose against Colchester it’s normal that not only the pundits but the fans, they can be worried about what happened.
“Because we lose against Colchester! That is normal. That they are concerned if something happened here. But you need to accept that this type of situation happens. Five years ago, it was the same, or worse.
“Because when we arrived here, never before had Tottenham played in the final of the Champions League, never were they a contender to be in the top four. Now we put Tottenham in a different level and the expectation is massive and of course if you don’t win one game against Colchester, you cannot expect from the pundits and the people to be talked highly of. It’s normal.”
Pochettino also suggested that the team were do performing better last season in the attacking third and whilst in possession but stressed that the players haven’t done what was required off them off the ball.
He also emphasised that the players needed to show the same aggression and ruthless streak that they did in previous seasons.
The 47-year-old was confident that the problem so far has been a lack of aggression rather than being tactical or down to a lack of individual quality.
He added, “Different circumstances that happen in the team. We need to work. I think when you assess, because that is our responsibility, in offensive situations, in possession percentages, I think we are better than last season.
“But after it’s about when you don’t have the ball, I think we need to be more consistent [here]. Because that is the problem – collectively we need to press better. We need to more tough out of possession. It’s true that we improve our percentage in possession, that we dominate more than last season.
“I was talking with some players … it’s like when you go with your friends to play 4v4 or 5v5. No-one wants to go in goal. So you say, come on, every five minutes we are going to rotate. You want to play with the ball. You don’t want to be chasing people, and running in behind. And maybe we lose this balance.
“We want the ball, more than before; we dominate the games more; we create maybe more chances; we shoot more but there is another part of the game – when you don’t have the ball, to be all together, to be on the same page, the will to recover the ball. I think we drop a little bit in this collectively.
“It affects the [whole] picture. Because when the opponents scores the goal, always it’s going to appear the keeper and then the centre-backs and the full-backs, and the holding midfield but I think we drop a little bit in this.
“And that is not talking about talent or positional game. That is about the will to recover this aggressivity, all together to be in the same page and enjoy the same when you have the ball and when you don’t have the ball. That is, for me, the key point that we need to fix. That is the problem on the team.
“Because leading the games how we have been leading and then you lose the game, it’s because we need to be more ruthless, more strong, more tough, more aggressive. Because if you are losing the game, you are going to go forward and you need to keep your composure.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Pochettino seems to have a clear idea on what is missing at the moment and hopefully, he has translated the message clearly to the players this week. It is vital that we start the game against Southampton on the front foot and press starting with the forward line with aggression like they did against Crystal Palace.
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