Is Pochettino's machine seizing up?


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2004
Thread starter #1
We've had one very good result (City 4-1), and a lot of games which have been between pretty good and a bit poor. We are not receiving the odd thrashing, but neither are we handing them out. The team/squad is coming together, but in a way that is more solidifying than blossoming.

Pochettino has been in charge for nearly 18 months, the squad is undergone a number of changes in that time, and while there are still areas to address the core of the team appears to be there. Two pre-seasons and the time in between should provide enough opportunity for the team to nail down the primary way the manager likes to set up his men, and I believe our greatest challenge at this moment should be adapting a different way of playing, and rotating the side without a distinct drop in quality.

However, it still feels like we are missing something. It still feels like this 4-2-3-1 set up is a work in progress, as if Pochettino himself has yet to fully get his head around how he wants it to operate. There seems to be a lack of cohesion across the pitch, and very few partnerships. Save Toby and Jan, I do not see any pairs of players who have an understanding. Last season there was a couple of months where we saw Kane drift out to the left, with Eriksen going beyond him, and it resulted in a couple of goals (Kane's first against Chelsea in the 5-2 win; Eriksen's winner away at Swansea) but there is little sign of that at the moment.

Full backs and wingers are not operating together, either offensively or defensively. The CMs and AM are not rotating or working off each other. The wing attackers/inside forwards do not work off the AM. The list goes on. Everything seems very static, and the gears of the team are locked in together and nothing can move. Perhaps Mauricio is hoping that one big effort will set the wheels free and we will be off, an unstoppable object that powers on, but we've had that injection of a player having a golden period - Kane for a lot of last season, Chadli at the beginning of last season, Eriksen midway through, while Lamela was our golden child for a spell this season.

The team still feels like less than the some of its parts, and too susceptible to individual failings, be it defensive lapses or Kane not having his scoring boots. Players running down dead ends and into opponents is a clear sign that there is no standard attacking plan that creative players can work off. Instead they are made to make something happen as if by magic, no longer acting on instinct but having to think about something in the moment, which leads to our slow and turgid play.

The manager's disinterest in a plan B means we cannot add momentum by giving the players a fresh thought process, and there are the beginnings of players being frustrated that they just can't play fluently on the pitch. Okay, these might not be the most 'intelligent' players but if Pochettino wants a team full of players who can solve individual situations then we will be at the mercy of well organised defences and off days.

We are still a work in progress, of course we are, but we see the same issues reoccurring. The last time we were defensively strong, had lots of possession but ultimately very little goal threat was at the start of Andre Villas-Boas' reign, and rather than build that attacking fluidity we saw the defence fall apart and AVB was out. Pochettino has worked the transfer market better, and whatever happens it feels like we have a better foundation for any manager to work from, but Mauricio seems to be digging a hole and his only way out is to continue using the shovel.

In so many ways the Argentine seems a very good manager - the players like him, training seems to be good, he knows how to setup the running of the club in terms of transfers, scouting and his general ethos about how football should be played is congruent with how Tottenham Hotspur as club like to play. I hope that all Mauricio needs is time - a bit of time to work on our attacking play, a bit more time to get the players completely up to speed, a bit more time to make the final adjustments to the side. However, the longer we go coming up against the same issues, making the same mistakes, and finding the same frustrations, the more I worry that we have had yet another false dawn and another set of opportunities will be missed.

We are purring along nicely enough, but know we need to move up the gears and realise our full potential. I would really like that to happen with the current coach and players.


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2013
Don't know about his machine seizing up, but it is missing a number of parts - Son, Mason, Bentaleb, now Chadli.

When its assembled properly it looks like this:

Walker Toby Jan Rose
Dier Mason
Lamela Son Eriksen

With Alli, Chadli, Clinton, Bentaleb, Dembele all available to come in to a game depending on the adjustments needed.

You can swap out Walker/Trippier, Rose/Davies, Mason/Alli to your own preferences.

Bottom line, this team is still coming together. But I really like the vision.


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2004
Overreaction! it is one game in Europe like we tried 100 percent?, we have a lot of injuires at the moment and a lot of players just returning from injury. Son getting injured has really not helped he was starting to bring out the best in Lamela. We don't have a player like Payet or anyone who can run at people and beat them out wide with pace. We also need a better striker someone physical how can score a stead 15 goals a season we should maybe have signed Austin he would have got goals as a wide/ striker for me N'je does not offer enough nothing against the guy his touch is not good enough which would not be a problem if he had pace like Lennon.

Townsend offers very little,
Chadli is injured / not scoring
Eriksen is still not playing consistently well
Lamela is hot and cold
Kane is having a poor patch
Prichard is injured
Son - looked a world beater injured

if it was not for all our attacking players injured or have been injured / lost form I think we would be ok. Hopefully in a few games time we will have clicked in to gear in the final third we need more confidence and why cant we put the early ball in sometimes.
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Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2005
Maybe another striker to help out Harry?....
-By giving him a break from playing now and then,
-By scoring more goals for the team, and taking some of the pressure off him,
-By occasionally allowing his Manager to play two-up-front, with him being one of the two
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Amused, bemused and confused. Where's the coffee?
Feb 26, 2004
Considering we've just cleared out a lot of chaff ibn the summer and the average age of our team is ~24, of course we're a work in progress. There are clearly elements missing, such as additional CF. We've let about 4 pts slide through letting leads go. I don't think we'll be stepping it up a gear anytime soon, as we can't spend millions whilst the new stadium is in the pipeline. I like this side a lot because the players are developing as we're watching. But it will be that much sweeter than Man Citeh or Chelski when we do win the PL in 4-5 years time, because these players will have come developed together.


Jun 4, 2004
I'd rather stall occasionally than continue to go back and forth the whole time with manager changes. To be honest Poch has plenty of slack in my book to get it how he wants it. What's the great rush, we've had decades of over-eagerness leading to not very much success.


Well-Known Member
May 19, 2006
For me, its all quite functional without much spark or inspiration. We may have to settle for that for a while. :unsure:


Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2005
Sure it meant well but I'm going to be *that* guy: was it necessary for this to be a homepage story?

Doesn't read like a column, reads like a pretty standard thread-starting post.

Just wondered if there were any parameters to remember for putting stuff on homepage? As if this is eligible, there are quite a few that could be ported out


Official SC Numpty
Dec 8, 2005
For me, its all quite functional without much spark or inspiration. We may have to settle for that for a while. :unsure:
Pretty spot on, in that if we had that spark, Bale,Sanchez ect we would be a superb team. Every top team needs a superstar, Harry was that last year, and hasn't turned up yet


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2006
A season of transition my friends, peaks and troughs with a very young team - stick with it - we'll get better and better and hopefully peak for a couple of cup finals!
I can see what MoPo is trying to do - he needs time and a couple more good buys.


Well-Known Member
Jan 30, 2011
There's no point in a plan B until the team/squad are settled with plan A. We are capable of sitting back and defending, then going on the counter-attack; in fact, apart from last night, we have been solid in defence. I think that injuries have slowed down forward progress, but it's been pretty good so far.


Well-Known Member
May 17, 2005
We just need to get some goal scoring mojo going. We're doing fine otherwise. I don't like Poch's suggestion that we have enough strikers, because they can play in different positions etc. I think we needed more and that's the main imbalance in the side now. It's not just missing out on Berahino, which can happen, it's that we needed Berahino plus another like-for-like with Kane.

We've got 11 goals in 9 games, so we just need to commit a bit more to attack and be more clinical. I wouldn't say we're seizing up at this early point of the season though.


SC Supporter
Dec 7, 2006
I like Mauricios style especially his attitude to youth
which has repaid him handsomely.
Another striker was clearly a must
and Harry´s loss of the scoring touch
underlines this whatever he says
he is just being respectful to his boss here.
Injuries have thrown sand into the machine
and it will take time to clear.
Needs time which hopefully he will get for once.

Mr Pink

SC Supporter
Aug 25, 2010
Jesus Christ, if people can't understand that laying foundations, particularly strong defensive ones, can take time to implement without some sacrificing in the short term I just despair.

Its very obvious that we've improved hugely from a defensive point of view, we just need to show some patience in terms of waiting for the attacking play to click and knit within the strong defensive framework we've now created.

We already saw signs with Son's movement in the team. Things will improve gradually.
Aug 23, 2005
Pretty spot on, in that if we had that spark, Bale,Sanchez ect we would be a superb team. Every top team needs a superstar, Harry was that last year, and hasn't turned up yet
I've been thin
Pretty spot on, in that if we had that spark, Bale,Sanchez ect we would be a superb team. Every top team needs a superstar, Harry was that last year, and hasn't turned up yet
I've been thinking the same, and I have a plan for January. Swap Sanchez for Townsend. Job done.