Pochettino’s Pre-Match Thoughts

Image: SpursWeb

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino talked about new signings Sanchez and Gazzaniga, his and the team’s reaction to Chelsea defeat, the vacant England captaincy and the upcoming fixture against Burnley, ahead of Tottenham’s latest trip to Wembley on Sunday.

Earlier in the week, Tottenham confirmed the official capture of 21 year old Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez, who’s arrival at the club saw Spurs smash their record transfer fee having spent a sum believed to be close to £38 million on the youngster.

Pochettino revealed his delight and his relief to have finally started bringing players in through the door, while also giving an update on the status of the Colombian’s work-permit. He said:

“We are very pleased to add to our squad Davinson and Paulo Gazzaniga too. I think they fit very well for our club, our squad.”

“When I told you weeks ago that we need to sign, in the end we start to sign players. Of course we wish them all the best.”

“The work permit, we are waiting. We’ll see if he can be available to be selected for the weekend. Today he is still not available to be selected. We are waiting, we will see.”

“It’s true that in the last week he wasn’t involved in the training sessions in Ajax. Always that’s difficult for him. He was training yesterday and before yesterday, and we expect tomorrow he will train with us again.”

“But I can only tell you that we need to wait for the work permit.”

Unfazed by the money rumoured to have been spent on the young defender, Pochettino highlighted the centre-back’s youthfulness as to why Tottenham decided to recruit Sanchez.

“I don’t like to talk about money,” He added. “I don’t believe it is the price that you say [reporter claimed £42 million], but I don’t want to start to speak about the negotiations and in the end the price is not my business.”

“The only important thing is to say that he’s so young. He’s 21 years old, he’s one of the most important and talented young players in Europe. He’s so fast, so aggressive.”

“We’re so pleased to sign him and to have him with us.”

When asked how Sanchez would fit into the Spurs side tactically, Pochettino offered little more than a ‘wait and see’ as he once again highlighted the youngster’s versatility.

“You will see,” He said. “When you have ahead four competitions you need to keep your quality.”

“Last season we were talking, not me, but from other sides saying we need to strengthen our squad and keep the quality in all the competitions and keep the level.”

“I think Sanchez fits perfectly for us and he showed plenty of quality at Ajax. He is so aggressive and so fast and I think you will see what happens in the future.”

Moving on to Pochettino’s latest purchase, the Spurs manager explained that the signing of Paulo Gazzaniga will provide much more competition for places in the squad. He said:

“I think we need another keeper because we have Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm. I think we have very good keepers in the academy, like Alfie [Whiteman] and Brandon [Austin], but they are still so young.”

“The gap with Hugo and Michel was massive. I think Paolo was a perfect profile for us to bring. We know him from our period at Southampton.”

“He was the best keeper last season in the Championship, at Rayo Vallecano in Spain, and I think there’s no doubt about signing him and creating more competition in our goal.”

Moving on from recent transfer business, Pochettino then took the time to describe the atmosphere in the Spurs camp after defeat to London rivals Chelsea, in what was Tottenham’s Premier League debut in the national stadium.

Pochettino stated a few days ago that he felt Spurs deserved more on the day, and the Argentinian was quick to suggest that he has taken many positives from last Sunday’s performance.

“I think sometimes you can lose the games like this,” He stated. “It’s true that you are never happy when you lose, but in the way we lost there were a lot of positives thing to take.”

“I think everyone who has watched the game, will agree with me that we were better. We created more chances and we were the protaganists.”

“We conceded two goals and in the end we paid for that. We weren’t clinical in front of the goal and when you can’t score it’s too difficult to win.”

“But the performance was good. I was happy with all the players. In the way that we played. We dominated the game and created the most important chances.”

“We created much, much more more than Chelsea. There’s nothing to worry me. The team has been training very well this week.”

“It’s true for everyone that it’s a difficult period with rumours of players in and players out. Always it is. It’s difficult for not only us but other clubs.”

“We need to be and I am happy with the way we have responded in the week. I think the team arrive in a very good condition to compete on Sunday.”

Turing his attention to Sunday’s match against Burnley, Pochettino suggested that although it is sure to be a tough test against a ‘motivated’ opponent, he is confident his side can right the wrongs at Wembley.

“We know each other very well and how they play,” He added. “They were very good against Chelsea and then they struggled against West Brom. But it will be tough. One thing is sure.”

“They will be motivated to play at Wembley against us, during the game. For us it’s important for us to play well and in the way that we always play.”

“It will be tough because all the games in the Premier League are tough. They are a very good team, a physical team with a great manager. They are so clear how they play. It will be a very tough game.”

“It’s important to be focused on our next game and then we’ll see. In football, nothing is guaranteed that if you win next week you will win the week after.”

“It’s important to go step by step. The team has looked good this week in training, so focused on trying to win and improving. That is the best thing for me.”

Putting Tottenham’s ‘Wembley hoodoo’ to one side, Pochettino discussed how every game in the Premier League is a ‘must win’ game, not just matches at Wembley. He said:

“We want to win and it will be our first win at Wembley. It’s important always to win. Our mentality is always to win.”

“We played to win last week. We didn’t but I think we deserved more. Now we need to play well again and try to be better than our opponent and try to score goals to bring us the first victory.”

Finally, Pochettino was asked whether he believes Harry Kane could be the next England captain given the recent news of Wayne Rooney’s retirement from international football.

In response, the Tottenham gaffer claimed that Kane would be ready whenever called upon, and that he himself would be very happy for the two-time golden boot winner.

“That is not my decision,” He said. That’s Gareth Southgate’s decison.”

“I think Harry Kane is ready, he has the personality and character. That is not my decision. If that happens I would be very happy.”

Are you confident ahead of the Burnley match? And would you like to see Sanchez play, if his permit came through in time?

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