Pochettino rallies troops as he tackles ‘toughest season’

Tottenham failed to make a single signing during the summer transfer window

Mauricio Pochettino:  “I am a winner and I love the challenge, so that is why I feel full of energy. We want to go again.” Photograph:  Alex Morton/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino: “I am a winner and I love the challenge, so that is why I feel full of energy. We want to go again.” Photograph: Alex Morton/Getty Images

a
 

Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to lead from the front as he tackles his “toughest season” yet as Tottenham manager.

The Argentinian has delivered three successive top-three Premier League finishes, spending far less money than his rivals, but the 2018-19 campaign promises to be a challenge for a number of reasons.

Pochettino, despite calling on his club to be “brave and take risks” in the transfer market, was unable to make any summer signings, while nine of his players were involved in the World Cup for its entirety.

Futhermore, Spurs are currently enduring more disruption after plans to move into their new stadium were delayed, meaning they will now play at least three league games – and their Champions League group games – back at Wembley, starting with Fulham on Saturday.

That is not even factoring in the further strengthening of their rivals, with the majority of the other top-six clubs splashing the cash in the summer.

Pochettino had chances to walk away from the club this summer, with Real Madrid and Chelsea both interested in his services, but he instead chose to sign a five-year contract at Spurs.

“For everything, for me it will be the toughest season and I think if we want success we have to give more than our best,” he said.

“It’s not enough 100 per cent, it’s 200 per cent. We know from inside that it will be hard, the season, and because we are warriors we want to fight. We want to be proud at the end, we want success and we do not want to complain or make excuses. I am a winner and I love the challenge, so that is why I feel full of energy. We want to go again.

“When you are in a difficult situation, this is the moment when you need to show that you are there.

The legacy

“It is easy when everything is good to be there, but when the winter is coming it’s easy to run away. I want to be there in the frontline fighting and trying to with all the circumstances that, today, are in the club.I feel the responsibility to be there and that is why I am here.”

If Spurs are unable to match their achievements of recent years, Pochettino believes the finger of blame should not be pointed at chairman Daniel Levy, who was criticised last week when the club could not add to their squad.

“First of all, I think we are going to be successful. There is no point in blaming the club, the board or Daniel,” the boss added. “He is doing with the board an amazing effort to create the legacy that will endure for a generation and forever. You cannot blame a person that does not sleep because he is thinking about how to deliver the best job for the club.

“It’s a business of course. But sometimes the fans need to think. It is easy for those responsible such as Daniel to think, ‘Okay, rather than investing in a massive training ground, new stadium, let’s put the money into players. Happy?’

“Then in 20 years, I am going to be remembered for winning the Premier League. In the end, there would still be 35,000 in a stadium.”

a
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.