Pochettino says move away from White Hart Lane may have cost Spurs trophy
‘We still need to finish our stadium. We need to create the basis to win’
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino: “The problem is you want to put Tottenham in a level when they are still not there”
The manager saw another route to silverware closed off on Thursday when his team lost on penalties to Chelsea in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and, not for the first time, he found himself being asked to explain why he had not won anything during his 4½ years in charge.
In an impassioned answer, Pochettino pointed out Tottenham’s glory days had come during the era of black and white TV – they did the league and FA Cup double under Bill Nicholson in 1961.
Pochettino noted Spurs had “no history of winning”, with the subtext he ought not to be blamed for a lack of trophies. In the last 34 years the club have won one FA Cup and two League Cups.
The Argentinian is keen for people to see the bigger picture, which is the progress that the team have made in terms of their Champions League qualifications and the ability to compete with bigger-spending rivals. His exasperation was clear, particularly when he considered the temporary relocation to Wembley, which will run deep into a second season because of the delays over the stadium project.
“We are always close to the last step [to trophies] but to achieve it is the most difficult thing,” Pochettino said before Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace. “At the moment the team needed the last push, what happened? We build and build but then White Hart Lane – gone.
“We moved to Wembley, and there were all the doubts about how we are going to behave. There was the example of West Ham in their first season [at the London Stadium], and many things in this process that stopped the evolution of the team about to win.
“Remember, we were unbeaten in the Premier League at White Hart Lane in our last season there. Nobody said what it meant to move to Wembley to create another project and not only this – we were going to play only one season at Wembley and now it’s nearly two seasons and no one says nothing.
“When Arsenal moved [to Emirates Stadium] people talked about massive problems, they are still paying, but Tottenham, with no history of winning … Our glory, I watch the video about the glory, it’s with Nicholson. It’s black and white. I watch it nearly every week and to create again that feeling you need time. Four or five years, that’s nothing in the history of the club.”
“The problem is you want to put Tottenham in a level when they are still not there,” Pochettino said. “It is completely unfair to charge the club like you would Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea. We still need to finish our stadium. We need to create the basis to win.”