Spurs star opens up on Pochettino’s brutal training sessions

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Danny Rose has revealed that former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino gave the squad hardly any time off during his tenure at the club and put them through an unforgiving training schedule.

The Daily Mail reported that towards the end of Pochettino’s reign at Spurs, some players were complaining about the intensity of the training sessions and the lack of rest.

It was said that the Spurs stars blamed that as the reason for the team’s poor start to the current season, which eventually cost the Argentine his job in North London.

It looks like there might be some truth to that assertion as Rose opened up on how demanding it was to play for the former Tottenham boss.

Speaking to The Lockdown Tactics Podcast (as relayed by Football.London), the left-back said: “I think [it takes time to adapt], especially for foreign managers. You hear what regimes are like when managers come in.

“I heard that Conte had a strict regime when he came in at Chelsea and I heard that he wasn’t willing to compromise in any shape or form.

“Even under Poch, he had a different culture to the British. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand it – you know the British like to have a drink – it was just something that he couldn’t get his head around.”

The England international revealed that the players weren’t allowed to have a drink even after the miraculous comeback against Ajax in the Champions League semi-final last season.

He said: “He’s another one. He wasn’t willing to compromise on that either. Even after we beat Ajax in the Champions League semi-final and it was obviously the biggest night of our careers. On the flight home, we weren’t allowed a drink.

“It was ‘no you’re training tomorrow, you’re up at 9 am’. So it’s just one of those things. British managers do different things.

“Foreign managers, sometimes it’ll take them time to adapt or for the players to adapt to them. It’s something that is just one of those things in football.

“That night [in Amsterdam] in the changing room and we went back out to the fans, for that hour I felt on top of the world. Then we got back on the plane and we were trying to have a drink and he wasn’t having it.

“He was like ‘no we’ve got a game on Saturday’. The night was over.”

“I do fully respect what he’s done but at the same time with that Champions League semi-final we’d been together since we were 22 or 23, so for me, that’s all I’d known for the past five or six years, you’d play and then get one day off if you’re lucky and that’s it, you’re grafting for the rest of the week.”

Rose claimed that he is now enjoying playing for Steve Bruce after spending five and a half years playing under the Argentine.

He added: “So now I’m at Newcastle, you’re getting two or three days off a week if you win, so I’m thinking what’s going on here then? It’s a shock to the system.

“We’d only get one day off if we were lucky under Poch. Even in international breaks, he’d see the ones who would go away as having a holiday because training isn’t as hard with your national team.

“So if you weren’t in the national team you were getting beasted in training.

“You’d only get Saturday or Sunday off and then you’d get somewhere like Liverpool where they’re getting seven to 10 days off.

“We’ve been programmed a certain way in the last five or six years and going to Newcastle it’s different.

“I’ve missed playing for a British manager and I’m getting used to it again.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Some will say that professional footballers shouldn’t expect too many days off given how much they are paid and how short their careers are. However, everyone including top-level athletes need to be allowed a certain element of work-life balance to perform at their best.

Rose is certainly not the first player to complain about the intensity of the training sessions under Pochettino. Perhaps that had something to do with the number of injuries we have had over the past three or four years.

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