Mauricio Pochettino admits he has never felt so low amid ongoing turmoil over new Tottenham stadium
- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has never felt so low at the club
- Pochettino cited the summer and problems over the new stadium as his reasons
- Real Madrid are said to batting their eyelashes at the Argentine manager
- Tottenham face champions Manchester City at Wembley on Monday evening
The points are coming at an unprecedented rate for Tottenham yet with startling honesty Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he has never felt so low in his four years at the club.
It is perhaps not the most reassuring sentiment to come from the Argentine at a time when Real Madrid are said to be batting their eyelashes at him.
But there is not believed to be an ulterior motive in his frank assessment of the opening months of this season, in which Tottenham have acquired more points than at the corresponding stage of any other Premier League campaign.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino (pictured) says he has never felt so low at the club
Pochettino cited a complex summer and problems over the new stadium as his reasons
That ought to mark it out as a success, but these are tricky times for Spurs, whose stadium project continues to run behind schedule and has prevented the kind of transfer spending that would lift them to the next level.
For those reasons, it is eminently possible that the fixture against Manchester City tonight might stir something in Pochettino, given the game at Wembley is a reminder of the two things Tottenham crave and yet do not have — a permanent home and deep reserves of transfer cash.
The new home will have to wait until January 13 at the earliest, as per Friday’s latest sorry update, and the financial freedom to dream bigger will not come until some point in the future. So it was understandable to hear Pochettino sound as though he was tiring of fighting the big guns each season with one hand behind his back.
As he put it: ‘The season so far, it’s strange because my feeling is the worst feeling I’ve had in the years that I’ve been here. It’s the worst, my feeling, but it’s the best start ever for the club in the Premier League. It’s strange, no?
‘It’s so difficult to explain because of the circumstances, because many things happen. I am disappointed we are still waiting for the new stadium when the expectation was to be there at the beginning of the season.
‘I don’t know, many things happened in the summer, many things that make myself not in my best mood or best humour. I had better feelings in previous seasons.’
There has never been a suggestion of friction between Pochettino and those above him at the club, to the extent that he has refused to make any public criticisms of a summer in which no new signings were made.
Tottenham look set to welcome back key man Dele Alli (front-left) on Monday evening
But the worry for supporters will be that his success with Spurs — fifth, third, second and third on his watch — could soon draw the kind of top-shelf offer from elsewhere that cannot easily be refused. That will serve as a test of his patience, considering his acceptance and admission that Tottenham will be at a disadvantage to City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool for the duration of their stadium project.
It was a subject he turned to in comparing how far Tottenham are behind tonight’s opponents. ‘When you are competing with sides like we are in Champions League and Premier League, the most important thing is to fight in the same conditions as others.
‘Today, we spend a lot of energy on many things. One is to win games, but it’s not the priority to win games. For the team, yes. But the club need to be all focused on trying to win titles. Today we need to fix other problems that don’t help the team or the club to only be focused on winning titles.
‘It is easy to see in the last few years how we act in front of the market, how we act in front of everything and how the other teams were acting.
‘That is the difference. We are in a project that is completely different at the moment. But maybe, when we arrive at the new stadium in the future, we are going to act the same as Liverpool, City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal.’
The ‘frustration’ for Pochettino has been going so close in recent seasons from what was a position of relative weakness.
The bleakness of his outlook this time round can only have been exacerbated by the sense that nothing is as easy as it might be, even with good results.
Four of seven wins have come from single-goal margins, the Champions League campaign is on the brink and Hugo Lloris’s drink-drive case was unwelcome and embarrassing.
And yet a win against City on Monday, with Dele Alli back in the squad after a month out, would put them ahead of Pep Guardiola’s side. Perhaps then things wouldn’t seem so bad after all.
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