Maybe not a Mauricio Pochettino Staff?
On its surface, its an absurd observation. How could it not be? Each one of the players who started using the 3-0 defeat to Brighton have been at the club for at least three years. Half of those are around for more than six years. That continuity was crucial for their success. It is a issue.
This was the fourth time since September the Pochettino has named a Tottenham team having an average age of over 28 years old. Having had the starting line-up in each of the first three seasons at the Premier League, Spurs finally possess the oldest in the contest. It is more than just a quirk. Its a basic issue facing this manager.
Pochettino enjoys working with young players. They are coachable. Willing to learn. When an older player is a design professional with habits that are good, he is instinctively sceptical. Since he felt that the players legs had gone, for example, some years back he had been bemused by another Premier League club opting to bring in a ageing midfielder.
That move worked out since, over anything else, the very reason is because of their superior energy amounts but its a revealing insight. His idea of football requires his team to win the ball back quickly. A Pochettino group at its best is really a nightmare. Endless pressing. Perpetual motion.
From his time at Southampton, where he won on the group thanks to the clarity of his commitment to the transformation he staged in Tottenhams type of play, to some match that is high-pressing, this strength has been the trademark of any Pochettino team. It is the platform upon which everything else is established, the beginning point. His doctrine.
Nobody could have recognised the team that turned up as a Pochettino team at Brighton. But the issue is that this was not only one-off. There has been a shift. Tottenham press against the front. They are not winning the ball so high up the field and consequently they arent simply trying hard to make as many chances but they are less difficult to play against.
The amount of sequences – these the chain ends in 40 yards of their goal, and in which the opposition has three or fewer moves in some sequence – has fallen. The statistics reveal what the naked eye can stain – Tottenham are currently winning possession of the ball at the last third way less than previously and far less compared to their competitions.
To get Pochettino greater than any other trainer at the very top end of this game, this things. Ask anybody what makes Jose Mourinho a manager and his two Champions League successes will form a portion of this response. The exact same is true of Pep Guardiola, although Jurgen Klopp has now won important trophies at Liverpool and both Borussia Dortmund.
Pochettino does not have those awards but he had some thing else. A type of play which was unmistakeably one and his which he had exhibited was faked at clubs. It wasnt brought silverware to Spurs but it had maximised the potential of their squad and that there was reason to feel that, with more money and fortune, success was inevitable.
What today? Up until recently, it could be claimed that players were set in their manners to become moulded into his means of playingwith. With time would be a different proposition altogether, perhaps the fusion of expertise and excitement. Able to do it. Prepared to perform it.
Tottenhams decrease raises questions about the legitimacy of that logic. Some of it could be explained by the behind the scenes difficulties. By players in the final year of their contracts no longer committed enough to get into these ideas as they once had. It could be a mistake.
However, it does not quite excuse the managers role inside this.
Pochettino had pushed to get an overhaul. No doubt he had recognized the urgency of the need for modification. However, after a very long period in which it had been suggested that Tottenham were a young team up, one still studying ways to have the little details right, its problematic to now conclude he cannot make it work since those players are too old.
Does that place a cap, as it appears to be, that the methods of Pochettino work best with players, When it is the case? Of working in the clubs with the largest budgets if hes aspirations, as he does, will he be held by this feature of his record back? They are questions which are now hanging around Pochettino.
Whatever happens today, his Spurs heritage is complete. He has overachieved so much and for so long, that nothing can change yesteryear. But the threat for a trainer thought of as the next major thing of the game is there are conclusions other employers could draw from all of this which will impact his future. The skies reputation of pochettino is taking a bang.
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