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Mauricio Pochettino
English Premier League Football

Day of reckoning for Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur led by Mauricio Pochettino take on English Premier League (EPL) leaders Liverpool away from home in an enthralling clash.

Pochettino’s woes at Tottenham Hotspur:

However, this match could not have been timed worse, considering the terrible form battled by Spurs lately. Tottenham barely managed a draw against Brighton in their last league clash following a late equaliser by Dele Alli. The club would have recorded their third consecutive defeat, if not for the goal.

The run which started with a humiliating 7-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, was followed by a 3-0 loss against Brighton.

Tottenham Hotspur certainly bounced back with a 5-0 triumph over Crvena Zvezda recently in a UEFA Champions League group stage clash.

However, Pochettino will be a worried man considering the inconsistent form as he struggles to keep the side competitive. One can also hardly blame him if one looks back upon the ineffective transfer business conducted during the summer transfer window as a vital determinant behind their recent struggle.

One of the biggest hindrances in this regard was the expenditure behind the new stadium. The “Tottenham Hotspur Stadium” was rumoured to have set back the club by over £1 billion.

This resulted in the unavailability of finances for the Argentine manager to boost the squad. The presence of immense talent in the form of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen should have been backed by shrewd signings for the sake of building quality squad depth following the departure of Kieran Trippier, Fernando Llorente. However, this was never really an option considering the fragile club resources.

The lack of summer additions assumes even greater importance considering the effective manner in which other teams went about adding depth and addressing issues. Arch-rivals Arsenal invested in the services of winger Nicolas Pepe for a record sum from Lille, with Manchester United investing in the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.

Pochettino’s brilliance under pressure:

However, despite all the pressure on Spurs, Pochettino is a great manager; he is one of a handful of managers who could still succeed even with all factors playing a part. The recent UCL finalists have previously indicated a desire to put up a fight under pressure, and they will certainly look to ensure utmost commitment in the upcoming crucial clash.

Tottenham Hotspur boast of one of the best defensive duos in the form of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. Their ability to move the ball at an excellent pace can present an opportunity to tilt the balance of the tie in favour of Spurs.

Creative Liverpool full-backs Trent Alexander Arnold and Andy Robertson have been a major source of concern for opponents this season with their excellent gameplay. Vertonghen and Alderweireld are more than capable of restricting their movement and pushing them to the brink. That will deprive the Liverpool attack of any opportunities.

Another factor that can be exploited by Tottenham is the higher defensive line being played by Liverpool. Other opponents have failed to exploit the spaces that appear out wide as a result of such gameplay. However, Pochettino will look to utilise the pace of attackers Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min as an effective tool.

The former is further hailed for his hold-up play. That makes it easy for Son to contribute with searching runs from the onset.

The attackers will also enjoy quality support from the likes of Christian Eriksen and Harry Winks. The duo enjoy the ability to create an opportunity out of nothing.

Ndombele’s availability promises to be a game-changer:

The availability of Tanguy Ndombele presents yet another opportunity to dictate the tempo of the game. That is something they missed out on during the UEFA Champions League final last season.

Ndombele if utilised effectively can help reduce the influence of Roberto Firmino who drifts into midfield to create opportunities. An off-day for the Brazilian will certainly provide Tottenham with an excellent advantage.

Football is a game that can change in the brink of a second. Pochettino despite all the apprehensions expressed by critics, is a genius at delivering results under pressure.

A positive mindset, free-flowing gameplay and focus on turning the pressure back on Liverpool akin to Manchester United last gameweek, should be enough to get the job done at Anfield.

Written By: Marcelino Da Silva


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