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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Pochettino highlights inability to guarantee playing is a problem



Question:
How hard is it to push someone like Harry Kane? You're asking a striker to come where he's not going to play. That's been the problem, hasn't it?

Mauricio Pochettino:
"No I think this is almost as important because Harry Kane knows very well that when he was behind Soldado, or Adebayor, he knows very well what happens when, in a moment, you have no focus. If you have in behind another who is pushing, if you don't give your best then maybe...

"And he knows that his manager is about the performance not only in the game but during the week. And that is important, the players that combine to add to the squad know that if they are better and challenge and deserve to play then they play.

"It is true that it is difficult now that you cannot guarantee to the player that they play when they sign but you can guarantee that your provide good tools to challenge our players."

He makes a very important point. Footballers from Europe are guaranteed starters for their clubs and asking them to come to a club and fight for a place isn't always easy. Many players stay in Europe and get guarantees of starts.

We heard from Etienne Capoue how he expected to be a guaranteed starter when he came to Spurs and didn't react well when he wasn't, as he later admitted. If a player is guaranteed a start in Europe and you are a young developing layer, how important is it that you play?

For the majority they will say it is, which makes signing them for Tottenham difficult. Mauricio Pochettino has shown he can develop players and that is a selling point, but if that means not playing regularly for a season, a season prior to a World Cup, and that carrot doesn't look so appealing.

It has been a difficult window for fans who equate spending with improvement, which isn't always the case.

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Pochettino philosophy improving Spurs



Question:
The spending has been incredible in the Premier League this summer: £1bn. The last I looked, Spurs have spent £0. How would you reflect on the summer so far?

Mauricio Pochettino:
"I think it is so clear at Tottenham that the last few years have had a clear philosophy. In Tottenham in the history - if you see in the last five years - . It is so difficult when you have a very good team and at a club like Tottenham you have a very clear philosophy and a plan that you want to follow, it is not easy to find right footballer.

"I think we are working and we'll add some players to the end of the transfer window. We need to bring some new energy and strengthen our squad. I think everyone knows that - and first of all our chairman, Daniel [Levy], knows that.

"He's working hard with the chief scout Steve [Hitchen] and we are working hard too to deliver it and to add and strengthen to the team that we need to fight for competitions next season."
Source: Football London

He confirms that Tottenham have a plan and are following a plan. He has mentioned before that Tottenham have a different philosophy than the clubs heavily spending. Whether fans agree with that or not isn't really relevant, it isn't fans who devise club philosophy.

Just recently he said (as reported by the Daily Express), "All is about objective and time. We see what happens in the future." That clearly demonstrates our philosophy extends beyond this season. He went on to say "It's important to believe and take the way that you feel can help the club. It's clear that in the last three years my philosophy has helped the club a lot to reach what they want."

That would suggest the approach Totenham are taking is not Daniel Levy refusing to buy as expressed by some, but finding the right players for the right price with the right potential for development, as understood by the rest of us.

That so clearly is our strategy so why are people complaining about it. What do they expect moaning to achieve, the club to suddenly replace the plan they have for the coming years, that has been successful to date in developing the club to compete regularly, something we haven't done for donkey's years.

Give a fan a grape, he'll complain he wants a bunch, give him a bunch he'll complain he wants the whole tree! that basically is what we are hearing.

It is my view that supporters should support the club, they should recognise the situation we are in, the financial constraints we have, the strategy we have and enjoy the journey. Why spend your time being miserable, it doesn't lead to a happy life.

Next step is for the players to win a trophy, they are good enough.


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Povhettino feels fans need to make Wembley magic



Question:
Is the Wembley factor, since you raised it, one of the biggest challenges for Tottenham this season?

Mauricio Pochettino:
"I think it will be a massive challenge to change that perception because last season was so difficult to share with White Hart Lane for the different games and sometimes it was a little bit of an easy excuse that because it is Wembley, we could not play in the same way that we play at White Hart Lane.

"Today I think the players and our fans know that we need to move there and play every single game at home, at Wembley, and that I think is a massive change in our mind and for us and for our fans. And I think it was a very good test for us last Saturday against Juventus.

"First of all for the team and then for the fans to see that Wembley is fantastic and can be magic for us. And that is now our challenge: to try make sure that Wembley will be magic for us and bring some good news."
Source: Football London

He is clearly telling the supporters  to get behind the club and get behind the team, Wembley is home next season and the atmosphere needs to show that.

The pitch is larger than White Hart Lane was, but we have won on grounds of similar dimensions, like Manchester City. UEFA dictate the size of pitches and the ideal is to have all Premier League ground of a similar size. We have had to increase the size of the playing surface in the new stadium for that reason.

We will still be playing a high pressing game and Wembley has always been a sapping surface so that raises the question of fitness, not just for our players, but the opposition too. The injury to Kieran Trippier I assume will mean we will be playing with a back three with probably Moussa Sissoko playing as a wing-back.

While he may want to move, he is currently needed so if he moves I can't see it being until the final week of the window. During that time we will still look for a permanent sale instead of a loan with option to buy that is on the table.

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Wembley a bigger factor than any signings



Question: What an amazing season you had again. Back to back seasons challenging for the title, but was the final reflection of disappointment?

Mauricio Pochettino
"Of course you are disappointed because you are ambitious and you want to win but I think we need to take the positive things. For the second season we challenged again to try to win the Premier League. And why not next season again? I think we are ready.

"The team is settled, we are excited. It is true that it is another challenge too to make Wembley our home and feel like home and try to change the perception for our fans and for everyone. But I think we are excited and very positive about next season."
Source: Football London

The Wembley factor may be a bigger deal than we expect. Everything is being done to acclimatise the players to the surface with it being reproduced at our training ground, right down to the same type of grass. What we can't replicate is the stadium, is the atmosphere, is the distance the crowd are from the players, is the boost it gives the opposition players playing at Wembley. For some it may be the only time they do so.

That is a bigger factor than our current lack of signings so far this window. We have three weeks left now to retain our main men and you can be sure we will come under pressure from clubs wanting to buy them, yes even this late in the window!

Manchester United and Manchester City are in the process of rebuilding and Chelsea are remodelling in the image of Antonio Conte. As a result you would expect them to be making plenty of signings. 

We don't need, nor have to, match them. We simply follow the strategy that has helped us grow to this point and will continue to help us grow for a bright future.

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Pochettino - No panic chaps


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Mauricio Pochettino knows the unique project he has signed up for and is fully on board. He knows with a new stadium being built and huge loan payments to repay that huge funds are not available. His role is to build the club, not just the first team.

He will know it is a long term project and that the club have to increase turnover to increase reinvesting in the team. We will be purchasing this window, we all know that, but any purchase isn't simply for next season, purchases are long term purchases who can grow and improve the squad.

When signing a player, it isn't just the cost of the fee that has to be taken into account, their are 5-years wages, assuming the player is offered a 5-year contract, which is normal, which also include image rights. On top of that are agents fees and a signing on bonus.

“For sure we’re going to spend. We’re going to sign some players who can help us fight and strengthen our squad - we need new energy in the team. 
“I’m sure that will happen and we’ll add some players before the end of the transfer window. We are working hard and are so close to making it happen.”

The club have to identify a player and then work out the maximum package we can offer, which includes 5 years of wage increases for contract extensions. There is only so much we can spend, given our income is £100m + less than our rivals. They are not building stadiums at the moment.

We know Barkley is recovering from a hernia operation so won't be signed until late in the window. We don't need to go through that again. next is a right-back and our first choice would seem to be Serge Aurier, who still hasn't signed for anyone.

It could well be that we won't sign a second choice until he has signed for someone else and our alternatives will know that and if they want to join us will wait. While fans may not know what is going on, agents do and targets do.

The ITK on Spurs Community is that we are after the same players we have been after since the start of the window, which suggests they haven't been signed by anyone and there are other options for each player. The lower down the scale you go the easier it is to sign players because they are looking for stepping stone clubs.

We were one but no longer are, our status has changed. We still don't have the pull of some of our rivals, we can't yet afford to offer the same wages package, but as Jose Mourinho pointed out during last season, he can't just go to Tottenham like Manchester United used to do and cherry pick players, as he found out with his move for Eric Dier and the stories leaked to the press to try and unsettle him.

No panic chaps, the window isn't over yet.


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In demand Rose staying at Spurs


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We hear that Manchester United want to renew interest in Danny Rose while our press have decided that Inter Milan are interested and the Italian press report what our press say. There are also stories that Chelsea want to offer £40 million for him, which as Kyle Walker went for £54 million plus add-ons I believe and not the £45 million City are suggesting, that figure will not be entertained.

There doesn't seem to be original news from the Italian press of Inter interest so that may just be our press throwing their name at any story, I did recently point out how we had been linked to 12 of their players. They seem to be a standard name to throw at a story now they have Chinese ownership.

Tottenham have no intention of selling any players Mauricio Pochettino wants, it was his decision to let Kyle Walker go, he wasn't sold out underneath him by Daniel Levy as those with an agenda would have you believe.

We have the national press running stories that his price at the bookies has been slashed, clearly not understanding that that is how a bookmaker makes his money. People seeing a shortening of the odds jump on and when it doesn't happen they lose. It is common in next manager markets, you have a succession of dramatic price reductions, they can't and aren't all right.

It is coming to something when professional journalists have to resort to writing about bookmakers odds changing instead of investigating the story and writing about that, often, no doubt, that is because there is no story and the same media have just invented it. I'm not saying that has happened here but we all know it does.

While some will no doubt panic, I'll wait serenely to see what unfolds, there is little point doing anything else really, it doesn't affect events, so why get all hot and bothered. In my view nothing will happen, the 27-year-old (28 next July) will remain at Spurs.

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Spurs talking with Real Madrid over Bale


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There is a suggestion that Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have met and have discussed Gareth Bale together with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

There is talk that Real Madrid would prefer to sell 28-year-old (29 next July) Gareth Bale to Spurs, if, and it's a big if, and when they decide to sell him. Why would they want to do a deal with Tottenham instead of the greater fee they could get from Manchester United?

That's simple, they want first option on Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, should they move for them at the end of the season. Eriksen we know has ambition and it took a long time to get him to sign his last contract extension. The rumours coming out of the club last summer were that he would only be here for another year.

Spurs have made enquiries and asked for confirmation of Gareth Bale's situation. That is leading to quiet informal talks to explore possibilities, one of which is that Real Madrid would contribute to his wages.

Welshman Bale wants to stay at Real Madrid, but he has had a lot of injuries and they do want Kylian Mbappe who isn't going to be cheap. It is speculative but the club are looking at it seriously as he is a marketing tool as well as a tremendous footballer who could be just the star to help our young team.

Who better to learn from than a man who has been there are done it, a man with the mental approach that drives him to achieve his goals.

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Pochettino choice to promote youth



Question:
The work you've done at Southampton and Tottenham is outstanding work, but you've also promoted young English players and you've also taken chances, you've put belief into young players. What is your idea on that? Because I think it is a frustration of many that young players don't get a chance - but under you, they do get a chance.

Mauricio Pochettino:
"Yes for me when I started my career at Newell's Old Boys and I met people like Marcelo Bielsa who believe a lot in the youngsters. It always was my idea when I was growing up and building my career as a player and the moment I thought to be a manager.

"I think it is important to pay back all that people gave you and for me it is important to provide young players, young talent with the possibility to challenge and to compete with the first team. I am not scared to give them the responsibility if they show me they are ready and are mature enough.

"And for me, I am so happy when five years ago when I came to England I found in Southampton an amazing team, amazing people and young English players with a lot talent. Like Luke Shaw, like Clyne, like Lallana, like Jay Rodriguez, like Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse), many, many, many players - Chambers after - that show they are hungry to show the quality and play. And I think it was an amazing job there."
Source: Football London

In his reply to reporters recently Mauricio Pochettino talked about his philosophy, not Daniel Levy's, on youth development. It has been pained by some that this is Daniel Levy imposing youth upon Pochettino, that is not the whole story.

Yes the club needed to find a way to compete with richer clubs and producing our own players or developing young purchases is an understandable way forward when we have stadium loans to pay back. Finding a manager who could develop youngsters and more importantly wanted to was a natural step.

Pochettino has youth development in his DNA, it's what he wants to do as part of being a coach. While many clubs are scared of playing youngsters in competitive games, Pochettino isn't, as he says, show me you are good enough and mature enough and you'll play.

We, from the outside,don't see what takes place on the training ground, we don't know what the youngsters are showing. Pre-season is about fitness and youngsters get a chance to play, that doesn't mean they are match fit to play and this is their chance, they have to develop fitness just like everyone else. They have to make mistakes so they can learn from them, nobody succeeds without failing first.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mahrez and Spurs scouting on 2 Aug


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Roma are reported to be reluctant to put in a third bid for 26-year-old (27 next February) Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez. Their opening £20 million (€22.09m - AUS$32.8m - US$25.92m) bid was rejected as was their second offer.

Inter Milan are now said to be eyeing a move for him but I doubt they will be offering anywhere near the £50 million (€55.23m - AUS$82.01m - US$64.81m) Leicester City seem to value him at. Other reports suggest sporting director Mochi remains hopeful that a deal can be completed.

There are fresh suggestions that Tottenham have contacted Leicester to explore the possibility of signing him.


Spurs sent a scout on Wednesday 2 August to the 32,115 seater Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece to watch 18-year-old (19 on 9 Aug) Olympiacos centre-back Panagiotis Retsos report SDNA.

He was in action against Partizan (Serbia) in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The sides drew 2-2 meaning Greek champions Olympiacos went through to the next round.

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Spurs have been scouting CB Panagiotis Retsos


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Tottenham and Arsenal have both scouted promising 18-year-old (19 tomorrow) Olympiacos centre-back Panagiotis Retsos.

The fight footed Greece Under-19 international (he has 10 caps) is under contract until 2021 having signed a new deal in October. He is highly thought of in his own country and expected to become a mainstay of the Greek defence in the coming years.

Sky Sports suggest German side Bayer Leverkusen are keen on him and German publication Kicker say the Bundesliga club have offered £13.6 million (€15m - AUS$22.33m - US$17.62m) with 20% of any initial future sale.

Ftench side Lyon ant to close aquick deal to replace Emanuel Mammana who has moved to Russian Premier League side Zenit St Petersburg. However, their offer of £2.72 million (€3m - AUS$4.46m - US$3.52m) was nowhere near enough suggested Olympiacos president. There are suggestions that the Greek club have started the rumour of Bayer Leverkusen interest because the Lyon offer wan't as they expected.

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