“We need to live in reality” – Pochettino’s blunt assessment

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham fell to a 2-1 defeat away to Southampton yesterday afternoon leaving their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season in tatters.

After Spurs thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-0 over two legs in the Champions League round of 16, most fans were on a high. However, the defeat against the Premier League strugglers bought the team right back down to earth.

Tottenham were the better team in the first half as they ripped their opponents open at will, and created a lot of chances.

Spurs, who were boosted by the return of Dele Alli, took the lead after the midfielder played in Harry Kane, who finished with typical confidence. They went on to create several chances in the first half but failed to add to their lead.

The hosts took the game to Spurs in the second half as they increased their intensity and pressed high up the field. Tottenham had no answer to the hosts and ended up conceding two goals.

Speaking after the game, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted the defeat served as a reality check to the team. He was also critical of the players’ lack of commitment during the game.

Pochettino told Football.London: “We still have a lot of work to do. That showed that we are not mature enough. That showed that to be in the last level as a club you need more effort, more quality and to increase your capacity of commitment.

“Everything, you need to increase if you want to play in the last level and be one of the best clubs in the world.

“That is why we were talking a lot in the last five years, it is not easy to build a plan or a project, a strategy to arrive and to be one of the best clubs in Europe or England and it is so easy to talk when we have in the past some good performances.

“‘We are the best team’ or we are now in the last step, on the last level or we need to win some titles to really believe in that”.

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  1. We certainly need to get back to focusing in the moment, and take each game as it comes.
    A mantra that has always served Spurs well.
    We probably didn’t deserve to get anything out of the Burnley and Chelsea games, but
    we should have put the Southampton game to bed long before they scored from a stupid
    mistake. I could not believe the lackadaisical way that Harry Kane went about
    attempting his many chances, when he/we know that a more clinical Kane would/should have had a
    hat trick yesterday! And then there was the crazy defending for the first goal. I mean WHAT
    were they all doing back there?? Playing the ball out from defence is one thing, which we sometimes
    overdo, but it’s craziness and sheer complacency when 3 players have the opportunity to just kick
    the damn ball away!!
    But let’s rein in now. Let’s just look at our ‘reality’. We haven’t had a home for two seasons!
    We’ve had irritating and lengthy injuries at different stages in both seasons! We haven’t bought
    a real game changing player of note during that time. We’ve lost two world class players in
    Walker and Dembele (although the latter was fading). And yet! Until the Kane and Alli injuries
    we were challenging on 4 fronts, which then reduced to 2. Unfortunately, when Kane returned
    we lost momentum in the PL too, and have now put top 4 in jeopardy. Not Harry’s fault, but the
    players around him who seemed to believe that with their talisman back they could take their foot off
    the gas. Son’s loss of form has been devastating for us, but he’s always had that horrible
    inconsistency in him, while Lamela and Moura have become totally ineffective in the last few months.
    Even Eriksen has lost that edge since the Kane/Alli injuries and distraction of his contract.
    It’s crazy, however, that we have this ‘backs to the wall’ mentality when playing
    European giants, and yet become complacent when beating the type of teams we’ve
    beating with ease in recent years!
    It’s not the mental thing with us in Europe (ie what stopped us getting over the line with the big teams) because we’ve proved since Juve’ we can now cope. And it’s not even weak mentality in the PL!
    Poch is right.
    It’s the ‘arrogance’ in our performances, and if that comes under the ‘mentality’ banner, then so be it.
    Because it’s just another ‘mental’ issue to be sorted out (and quickly) before our whole season unravels.
    But I still think the future is very bright for us, and not 5 to 10 years away!


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