The tactic that frustrates a lot of Spurs fans arguably the most about Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The 4-2 defeat to Arsenal was a weak and gutless performance from the Spurs contingent today, but we would like to concentrate on a performance off the pitch.

Mauricio Pochettino was class against Chelsea and Inter Milan this week, getting the games tactically spot on both times.

However, perhaps after two fine performances, he was due a shocker.   He is often guilty of leaving any tactical substitutions too late in a match, waiting beyond the 70th minute.

The first issue raised eyebrows came before the first whistle was even blown, with Toby Alderweireld named on the bench.

This strangely left a defence of a tired Ben Davies, an unfit Jan Vertonghen, an inexperienced Juan Foyth, and the defensive liability that is Serge Aurier.

The back four didn’t fill me with confidence from the get go, especially as Arsenal got on the front foot from the very start.

The creativity of Harry Winks was also left on the bench, but then again the physical aspect of Sissoko and Dier was enough to blow away Chelsea last weekend.

Spurs managed to get stuck in during the latter stages of the first half, and grabbed two goals in two minutes to turn the game around.

What Spurs needed after this was to get their foot stuck in and to bully Arsenal out’ of the game, but instead they tired.

We can’t blame them for that, as three big games in a week would be tough on any team, but the players weren’t rotated when they should have been.

Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Moussa Sissoko were visibly struggling after playing so many minutes this week, yet Poch decided to hold off on the subs.

By the time Winks, Moura and Rose were finally introduced, Arsenal had made three subs and had taken the lead in the game too.

Too little, too late. Pochettino simply waited too long and Spurs paid the price.

Have something to tell us about this article?


  1. Playing Foyth was daft. Bar the mistake he did ok. It was a game for Toby and Jan. Why not give Rose a start as he would be fresh. Aurier had to play as Trippier is injured. He went for a physical side, so I was ok with Winks not playing. It was a big game away from home. Foyth could have played on Wednesday against Southampton. People were getting carried away after his performance against a poor Palace side. At 2-2 I felt we look vulnerable and Emery had brought on two strong players. All our best players were starting today and Moura is off form, so our bench looked flat. Like on Wednesday, if he had just kept a player or two back, we could have gone up a gear. We just couldn’t slow the game down or keep the ball. Our passing was sloppy in key areas. Son hit the target, but not the corners regularly. I agree, Pochettino must try changing it earlier. Why wait until 4-2 down. At that point we needed a magician.

  2. Maybe this was a nod in the direction of Levy,to back him in january.It all seemed very odd today and after finally complaining about no new signings before the Inter match you do wonder if things are very well behind the scenes.The whole season has been somewhat of a farce and todays result has just about summed it up.We played poorly for most of the season and got away with it and todays result was probably coming.

  3. With the attacking options Arsenal had, it should have been a no brainer to play your best defence, Alderweireid is probably the best Defender in Europe, so why the hell was he on the bench! Foyth will be a great centre back in the future, but he it to young and inexperienced to play in a London derby, he doesn’t understand the significance of playing Arsenal, and obviously nor does Poch, Toby does, judging by his comments all week he was obviously up for it. Emery must have seen the big hole in the centre of our defence and brought on two strong attacking players, if Poch was any good he would have realised what he was doing and brought Toby on to counter that move straight away, but once again he leaves his subs until the last minute when we are already 4-2 down, we have now relinquished our top 3 position and to our bitter rivals, which makes it evan more painful

  4. Poch is not the master tactician everyone claims, London derby, third place up fro grabs and he leaves possibly the best centre back in Europe on the bench and replaces him with a 20yr old inexperienced player who has never played in a derby like this, totally stupid, Alderweireid was talking passionately about this fixture all week, we needed that passion on the pitch, not on the bench! it was obvious to everyone that Emery had spotted the hole in the middle of our defence, (everyone except Poch obviously) once Emery sent on two strong attacking players at half time, why didn’t Poch counter that by sending Toby on, we were leading 2-1 then and the move would have nullified arsenal’s subs, the most painful thing now is that we are behind the old enemy and have relinquished 3rd place to them

  5. Spot on. When we were 2-2, I was bewildered and furious that Poch was making any substitutions, especially with tiredness and inconsistency all over the pitch.
    Left it too late.
    Unfortunately, Poch got outshone by his opposite number on tactical switches again in the 2nd half of key matches. No excuse. Plus it was a game too far for certain players like Aurier (who reverted to type after two excellent games), Sissoko (ineffective) and Foyth (poor lad). Have Verts and Foyth even played together before??
    Oh, we tried hard (at times) but they did to us what we did to Chelsea. At our throats from the off,
    and even when we went 2-1 up, did we honestly think they weren’t getting their 2nd wind in the dressing room at half time, and clearly getting instructed, motivated as well as motivating themselves??
    When Spurs think we’ve cracked it in matches, the time is to believe that we HAVEN’T cracked it,
    and keep fighting for that right to be considered brilliant. It’s that old path of complacency, and we take it too many times.
    When Tim (silly) Sherwood was spouting on about a joint 11 consisting of only Spurs players,
    and that we were going to win 3-1, I shouted at the TV. This pundit, our ex-manager, and an
    experienced footballer, backed up by Merson, should know better that names on the team sheet don’t always represent ‘performance’, plus all other factors to consider, on the actual day!
    Arsenal simply wanted it more, they were less tired, they were fed up with Spurs getting
    one over on them, they were at the Emirates, the crowd were baying and so on! Believe me,
    this was a hell of a lot tougher than going to the Noucamp, Berneabau, Old Trafford, San Siro and so on. These are our damn neighbours who are DESPERATE to lord it over us again!! And we should have known
    how they’d come at us like rabid dogs! And dealt with it accordingly, instead of for just the final 20 minutes of the first half!
    Still, another learning curve I suppose, but Toby should have played and Foyth kept back for Southampton.
    As for Trippier, please come back soon! The ecstasy of Wednesday night, and last weekend, became the agony of Sunday. Football! Bah


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.