Pochettino: Spurs’ players are fighting like warriors to ensure the fans can leave White Hart Lane on a high note
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s players are fighting like “warriors” to ensure the supporters are able to leave White Hart Lane on a high note, with happy memories of the final campaign there.
The Lilywhites have the best home record in the Premier League this term, having won nine of their 11 top-flight fixtures and drawn the other two, while scoring 25 goals and only conceding five.
They are also on course to complete a clean sweep of the London derbies in N17, having beaten Crystal Palace, West Ham and Chelsea in front of their own fans this campaign.
Tottenham have just released new images of their new £750million stadium, which is scheduled to open in August 2018 – and the future looks bright indeed.
However, the immediate focus is on ensuring that Spurs leave their current ground in the best possible circumstances, before their interim year at Wembley - and Pochettino says the players are fully aware of their responsibilities.
Asked if he has thought about what it would mean to end Tottenham’s 56-year wait for a title in the last year at the Lane, the Argentinian said: “I do not want to think that. It will be amazing, the most important thing in Tottenham’s history.
“This season we can feel, in every game, how our fans feel excited to spend time at White Hart Lane.
“You can imagine how tough it will be in a few months when White Hart Lane does not exist and we move to play at Wembley. It will be very tough for our fans, for the people who love Tottenham.
“It is an extra energy that we feel. The way we are playing this season at White Hart Lane, you can see that we are warriors - that you defend your home, your house.
“The fans see how the players love to fight in every game. The connection and the feeling and the energy that we get in every game is amazing. It is very important for us to feel that.
“White Hart Lane will always be present in our minds, in our hearts and in our history.”
I agree. The whole essence of Pochettino is building a strong bond between manager and players, and amongst the players themselves. That does not happen by job hopping, or hiring mercenaries.
My favorite story about Poch's time here, is the day Levy was at the training grounds for lunch and all the players came up to greet him. They were not just sucking up to the chairman. Pochettino has established such a culture in the club that they instinctively greet everyone - because it helps build bonds among the squad. Not all the players are best mates, but you can see how they respect each other, and how they fight for each other.
Poch will eventually leave, but it's not to chase higher wages, nor to go to a squad with high player turnover every season. Loyalty means something to Pochettino, and I think it means something to Levy too. Spurs are a family, and as long as that culture remains, I think Poch has no desire to leave.
Shouldn't there be a question of pressure? How well would MoPo cope. He's never had the expectancy (however unrealistic) and pressure put on him that comes with the job as Spurs manager, it's not just from the board but from the fans too whereas others have played for and/or managed clubs that demand success.