Feeling no pressure will help Pochettino

It's early days in Mauricio Pochettino's reign. We have had 3 games with highs and lows already but then that was to be expected at the beginning of a season with a new boss.

Feeling no pressure will help Pochettino


The Argentinian is the sort of man to keep his feet on the ground during the highs and not let the lows get to him as he revealed before the West Ham game this season. The press and some fans have a fixation about time, lapping up sensationalist journalism without a thought for the realities of a situation.

Andre Villas-Boas was widely regarded as being the right man, but his stubborn abrasive nature eventually lost the dressing room and his time was up. Chelsea, as it turned out, was a warning sign, where the senior players had enough of him and rebelled, the same happened at Tottenham. Keeping the wrong man just for the sake of it is bad management unless you are going to throw out all your players instead, which isn't a financially viable proposition.

The right man will be afforded time, but he has to show he is the right man first, he has to show it to the board and the players. If the players feel he is the right man for the job then the hierarchy will stand by him and they certainly do at the moment. Pochettino is under no illusions that today's world, football is a results based business. It mirrors the way society has gone.

“I don’t demand time. I just need to to work hard every day, to build and improve every player in the squad. It is always the case in football that the result defines your career and the decisions, so we need to win.”

Those were his words prior to West Ham, he won that opening game with 10 men. In those circumstances the result was all the mattered and it was achieved. Some fans are saying we saw no evidence of the pressing game, which is laughable. Playing that against a side with an extra man would be suicide, in those circumstances you have to battle and battle we did. It certainly beat the thrashings we were getting with 10 men last season.

That result suggested a desire from the players to play for the manager, the celebrations afterwards showed it meant something to them. It suggests they are buying into his philosophy of hard work.

“They [the players] felt it the first day. The first day, you need to transmit your philosophy. This is important. It’s not like I just tell you and you receive my message. You need to build a philosophy."

What you say is not necessarily what I hear would sum that up. He can tell a player, a squad how to play but he then has to show them as well. Some will take longer than other to grasp what he wants them to do in certain situations, we all learn at different paces. We have seen signings struggle to adapt to our systems in the past so equally a new system may mean not all players adapt to it. First off though it's been the hard wok to get fit.

There is no hiding place with hard work, you either do the training 100% or you don't. That is only part of it however, buying into what he is trying to achieve on the field is vital, the pressing especially. If one player doesn't press when the others are the system falls flat on it's face.

It is vital therefore that all players buy into it and take on board instruction. There are already rumours that one player, Andros Townsend, takes on board instruction but then doesn't apply it, getting lost in his own game and what he wants to do. That can throw a system out of kilter so with him with us until January, when he and Aaron Lennon will have to reassess their futures, development will need to be seen in that area of his game.

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Jan Vertonghen is receiving lots of individual coaching he reveals and lots of video work, an approach he is thoroughly enjoying. To hear one of your major players really happy with the way things are being conducted at the club is good to hear and an encouragement for the supporters.

Pochettino clearly has a relaxed manner, even though punctuality is important, respect and appreciating who the boss is. Ruling by strictness is fine if you have the respect but when you lose the respect then it simply doesn't work. By all accounts Pochettino knows his own mind and is not afraid to speak it, but the incident with Danny Rose shows a lighter side.




Building a working relationship where you can have fun and everyone is happy get the best out of a workforce in any situation, they will go that extra mile. Players really happy with a boss will equally go that extra mile. After the Liverpool game it will be needed, it reminded the players there is plenty of work to do.
"I am not a manger that reads a lot or listens a lot. All I know is my job. When you are a manager, whether it is in Espanyol, Southampton or now Tottenham, the responsibility is always the same. 
“The responsibility, as a manager or head coach, is the same in all countries and all teams. It’s true that this is a big club, with more repercussions and we put pressure on ourselves. 
“This is the same in all teams. But I don’t feel this pressure.”

Again these were his words before the West Ham game and his experience at Southampton seem to bare that out. The pressure got to AVB in the end, blaming the fans, having rows with the players and blaming everyone but himself it seemed. Remaining calm under pressure is a key component in success and if Pochettino doesn't feel pressure then his decision making won't be adversely affected, which of course is a big plus.

The game against Sunderland will be a tough game away from home but it's important to bounce back and restore confidence. An international break hampers that with players away and returning at different times in differing states of fatigue.

It adds another complication to selection decisions, just one more piece of pressure. How the players handle pressure may be an entirely different matter and if Pochettino can transfer some of his calmness to them it will help players like Danny Rose.

I keep thinking back to Stoke City away, when Rose was would up and shoved a Stoke player but didn't get sent off, when he should have been. The crowd after that were simply vile, certainly didn't encourage a visit to see the sites of Stoke.

Losing control brings rash decisions and red cards. Fans of course love to see passion, just ask Sven-Goran Eriksen, vilified for being calm and being unable to do the impossible with England.

Let's hope Mauricio Pochettino can do the impossible with Spurs, to not feel the pressure fans place the manager under and get our quality players playing like quality players. Perhaps then our passion can have the desired outlet, a trophy and or Champions League.



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