Is Pochettino's machine seizing up?

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Oct 23, 2015.

  • by Krafty, Oct 23, 2015 at 2:58 PM
  • Krafty

    Krafty Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Llord Flashheart
    Not necessarily, it does depend how you look at it, though.
    Looking at it positively, I view it that we're harrying and pressing more, willing to put the boot in and win the ball back. Defending from the front.
    It's not great to be getting the cards but I honestly believe it's because we're fighting a hell of a lot harder this season, barring the odd blip.
    How long have we been viewed as a soft touch?

    If we had the least amount of yellow cards, whilst it could be for myriad reasons, you could then assume it's because we're not doing those things, we're not putting ourselves in the position to get a yellow card.

    Of course it could be because all the refs are Spurs fans and won't book our players but I'm long enough in the tooth to feel aggrieved at a lot of decisions that we don't get for us! ;)

    Yes, getting the yellow cards will ultimately deprive of us of certain players at certain times but I look at our squad and we've enough talent to cover this, we're playing better this season, collectively. Sure every game isn't perfect but I, for one, am a lot happier. :cautious:

    Big win tomorrow, please, boys! COYS! :)
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  2. SteveH
    I would say everybody at all clubs wants their team to get as high in their respective leagues as possible. There is of course a certain amount of pressure from that on every manager. But that's normal.

    Poch is under increasing pressure due to so many injuries. Thats all we hear about these days and Spurs are not alone in this.
  3. Mullers
    Under increasing pressure from who? We punched above our weight last season and qualified for Europe, so why is there pressure to punch 2 or more weight classes above our weight of 6th?
  4. Mullers
    To me the harrying and pressing is mostly the same as last season. I don't think the soft tag has gone yet, the defence has improved but I still think that many teams fancy us to let at least one goal in.
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  5. Llord Flashheart
    You're not wrong, it's all margins and how the individual perceives it, I guess.
    I think we are harrying better this season. I agree the soft tag remains but it's to a much less degree.

    Our defence is getting better but we're suspect to letting in silly goals but I don't think being a soft touch and the solidity of our defence necessarily go hand in hand. We're defending better a lot further up the pitch, there is more steel to our game across the pitch, which I think is a good thing.
    Teams know they're in for a slog against us, the extra amount of running, the more physical battle, we need to be getting into the opposition's minds about the game and how tough it'll be for them before a ball is kicked.

    I'm not saying we're anywhere close to nirvana yet, but these are much better foundations than have been laid in recent history, foundations to build upon, not a one or two season jolly.
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  6. ultimateloner
    I think Poch has set us up on a virtuous cycle:

    Better and more organized defence/pressing.
    A system where young players can come in and perform in non-critical roles.

    This is a good foundation that will get us competing for top 4 consistently.
    We are a lean operation and Poch's ideas are in line with that.

    However I dont think Poch is going to bring more into the table attacking-wise. I've seen no signs of any orgznied approach in attack:

    No counter-attacking drills
    No setpiece variation
    No consistent returns on 3 vs 2s, transitions etc.

    I dont think he is the kind of coach that can improve us offensively. I think we would need to buy our way into this one; which is fiine, thats what most teams do (Chelsea/Man City what have you).

    Conclusion:
    1) Poch's done a good job and gave us the foundations to compete at our level.
    2) No signs of him being able to bring us further forward attacking-wise, at least not from pure coaching.
    3) So in the end we still need that big stadium and Levy to buy correctly if we were to get to the next level.
    4) As a supporter I am happy with this; we are efficient and getting good returns for money spent. What more can you ask.
  7. Sweetsman
    If you read the rest of the post, I did say that we can play differently. The point about the continental style of play is that it needs patience, something that British fans find difficult.
  8. Jamturk
    I really don't get all these hard ons for Son
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  9. SteveH
    Christ you can be thick ;) - the pressure is coming from no human being, The pressure is coming from the situation of not having fit players.
  10. Mullers
    Fit players are human beings Steven :p
    Seriously I don't see that as a pressure they are not long term injuries.
  11. LexingtonSpurs
    I know, 3 goals in 4 appearances is way overrated. I could probably do that in my sleep.

    Seriously though, his goal threat, pace, and attacking mentality mix well with Kane, Lamela and Eriksen. Without him, we don't have the same goal threat with Chadli, Clinton, Dembele, or Townsend, or anyone else who plays in the attacking 4. That balance helps create scoring opportunities and allows Kane to stop worrying about being the focus, allows Eriksen and Lamela to play off both Son and Kane.
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  12. gusrowe
    We just need to be more clinical in front of goal. We create loads of chances in games but never finish off the majority. Things will improve once Son is back but we do need another back up striker......what about Vardy?
  13. cliff jones
    This is the poch machine. 65% possession, collectively running 110km per 90 mins. 5 shots on target per game, perhaps 3 from inside the box narrow victories or low scoring draws.

    Two set piece, one offside and breakaway goals against depleted city dont change the underlying realities.

    Our foward players arent great. Good, but inconsistent.

    So get used to it.

    Having written that, weve got some nice young players and sons running off the ball changes the dynamic.. Good cover all over the pitch except up top.

    Which leads me to feel for poch a little, dealt a bum hand by levy as he was last summer too.

    the one thing that concerns me about the out running opponents crap is that its unfeasible to rely on it in the el games coming as they do in between high intensity prem battles, with mainly the first xi involved.

    Haha, matic....
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  14. yiddo23
    I see us as playing fairly well with finishing being our major concern. Add in that Kane is on a drought and we have had injuries to some of best players, all while being unbeaten in 8 in the league, I'd say we are doing fine, ya should have picked up more points but every team can say that about almost every game every year
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  15. stuffies
    Think poch is doing well...has faults but so does everyone.
    But he's cleared out most of the deadwood and is slowly building HIS team...a team that's hungry...young..fit.
    There's been times where we've played some great stuff but yet haven't seen us do it for long periods in a game.
    Last season we let ourself down defensively and already you can see poch has addressed the issue.
    Toby and Jan pairing is working well....walker getting back to his best and no doubt made to work harder with tripper coming in.Davis looking better and Rose pushing on aswell....but what helps the most is Dier coming in to protect the back....at times with Jan and Toby split wide he almost drops in as a advanced CB...and makes a back 3 with fullbacks pushed high up.
    If kane was firing like last season I think we'd be in the top 3 by now....but no one could forsee he'd would struggle as much as he has so far.....
    Son was looking to add that spark we needed...Some who could beat a man....someone who could be direct and create that chance....but hes/we've been unlucky he got injured.

    Overall watching us can be frustrating at times but poch is building the future and sadly that doesn't happen overnight...but for me,we're moving in the right direct.

    COYS
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  16. npearl4spurs
    The thing is...we have really tied our wagon to these young players thinking they will continue to develop and improve. I think they will, and if they do, we will have something special.

    I just wish we had a bit more aggression in attack with some speed.
  17. Shadydan
    When son gets back we will.
  18. rupsmith
    I must say I don't agree with that - if anything there seems to be a general understanding that "a top 4 slot at any cost" is much less an objective than it has been over the last 10 years.

    I think Mr Levy is looking at things more from a long term perspective - the key being the building of the stadium. As long as we are not below 6th or 7th he'll be happy, and as Poch is a manager that builds youth and academy players, he is the kind of manager that fits the "project". Therefore the objective seems to be that we should be the "young" team in the country while our stadium is being built while still getting Europa League positions. Our strong scouting network means that we will attract the best young players and sell them on for significant profits as we grow - Bale, Modric being examples of when this works out.

    It is good leadership and management on paper and in my view we have to respect what they are trying to do.
  19. Mullers
    If Poch is building youth and academy players then it shouldn't matter so much if we finish below 7th. I think people who are expecting the stadium to be a 'game changer' are going to be in for a nasty shock. Not much if anything will change at all. I'm not sure how strong our scouting network is, we've been able to find a striker for the past few window and a DM in the last window we've had to resort to playing a defender there, which is just as well really because he would barely be getting any game time if that wasn't the case.
  20. Bilko
    Well - this is irrelevant to this site and post but just want to get this off my chest.
    Sitting here reading German papers this morning about their new cheat. How they bought the last world cup in Germany and are now trying to cover it up. How Beckenbauer ( golf cheat and until now a big chum of Blatter) got caught pants down and is denying it. How the new guy to take the baton is Rummennige ( a big chum of Plattini) who will ensure the next world cup available goes to Germany- AGAIN - AND NOT TO GREAT BRITAIN.
    I hope British press are on to this - the Germans can be a greedy bunch.
    Rant over.
    Oh and I like Pochettino - he's good for us

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