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Has Mauricio Pochettino hinted at doubts over his Tottenham future?



Photo: Getty Images.

FA Cup elimination at the semi-final stage at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United means that Tottenham face another season without silverware as Mauricio Pochettino continues his hunt for a first trophy in management.

The ex-Espanyol and Southampton coach has built a strong squad with the Lilywhites but is yet to come close to winning titles and the frustration was clear for all to see at Wembley on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, where Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera’s strikes cancelled out Dele Alli’s opener, Pochettino appeared to hint that his long-term future may not lie at the club.

“To compete in this type of game, I think we are ready to compete – but win is different,” he explained to BeIN Sports, as quoted by The Telegraph, after the match.

“The most important [thing] is that we are in this process, that after four years we can compete and that is fantastic.


(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“But the disappointment and frustration is that we are close but we cannot reach.

“I told your colleague before that with me or another coaching staff the club needs to push on, working in this direction and will be fantastic one day for Tottenham to reach the same level as the clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City.

“But a long way to work to arrive at this next level.”

Pochettino has been strongly linked with moves away, with Paris Saint-Germain linked by ESPN and the Daily Mail saying that he is Real Madrid’s top target to replace Zinedine Zidane.

Only at the start of this month, The Telegraph reported that Pochettino would sign a new contract to ward off such interest, but that has not yet been confirmed and the difficult of competing with the biggest clubs in the country whilst spending so much less has been clearer than ever.

The 3-1 Wembley defeat to Manchester City in particular highlighted the gap in quality between the two squads, largely down to finances. Whilst Pochettino was forced to rely on Moussa Sissoko off the bench, Pep Guardiola called upon Bernardo Silva. Following that up with yet another disappointing draw against bottom half opposition in Brighton before being knocked out of the FA Cup may give cause for concern for Tottenham.

Daniel Levy clearly believes in Pochettino’s project but if he is to retain his coach, he may need to stump up the investment to persuade him that the finances are there to support the work that he is putting in on the training pitches.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Swindon Spurs

    April 23, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    £30m was a lot of money on Sissoko and Bernardo Silva was £40m. So not a huge difference. We just chose very badly late in the window with a guy with such a bad track record. This is shown by most of Everton’s other signings. He would have added to that list. I think we can pay the transfer fees needed,but if a player wants £120k or more a week, like Mane did, we can’t sign him. West Ham and Palace paid more than we do for Payet, Chicharito and Zaha. Levy needs to loosen the purse strings or Pochettino, Kane and Alli will go in the next year or two. Then 12 years of good work by Jol, Redknapp and Pochettino will be down the toilet and we drop out of CL places permanently.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have already identified Eric Dier’s £25 million replacement in Wilmar Barrios



Photo: Getty Images.

Losing first team regulars may not be a complete surprise to Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, and that may why be reports are indicating that the coach has already lined up an alternative to Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama should either move on this summer.

The Sun say that there is still interest in Dier, who will be at the World Cup with England, whilst Wanyama’s struggles with injury may mean that Pochettino looks elsewhere for the role of midfield enforcer.

They believe the target to be Boca Juniors’ 24-year-old holding midfielder Wilmar Barrios, a Colombian international who plays alongside Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez at international level.


The youngster has become a key man in the Boca Juniors side but, perhaps unusually, has not caught the attention of many in Europe. Barrios has, though, developed a reputation as one of the best players in South America, particularly in his position, as he has become a linchpin protecting his back four.

That is protected in his very impressive stats, which show that he makes on average three tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to the 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions for Dier playing in a very similar role.

Barrios’ intelligent reading of the game has drawn comparisons to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, with both men guilt of diving into tackles on occasion despite all of their many strengths.

He may be raw, with no experience of playing in Europe, but at £25 million he could prove to be a bargain and Mauricio Pochettino’s return home to go on a shopping spree could provide a long-term solution to the holding midfield role which seems as uncertain as ever after the 2017/18 season.

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Tottenham Hotspur

If Tottenham lose Christian Eriksen, Hakim Ziyech is a quality replacement

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the Ajax star this summer.

Mathew Coull



Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to keep as much of their squad together for next season after another impressive, but ultimately trophyless campaign. One player who it seems may be hard to keep hold of is Danish attacker Christian Eriksen.

The playmaker has perhaps just had the best season of his Tottenham career but has attracted interest with that form. Barcelona are looking to find a replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, who is leaving the Nou Camp this summer. As reported by Don Balon this weekend, Barca have decided Eriksen is the man for that job.


With Barca lurking, Tottenham will be fearful of losing their Danish star. But who would the club sign as his replacement?

One potential option appears to be Moroccan international and Ajax star Hakim Ziyech. Last week it was reported that Spurs were one of many clubs interested in the player by Italian outlet Calciomercato.

So could he replace Eriksen?

The obvious comparisons begin with the club from which Tottenham would be signing him. Eriksen also arrived at Spurs from Ajax and has certainly proved to be a success.

In terms of playing style, he is very much like the Spurs star. An intelligent player he reads the game brilliantly. His passing range is also excellent and he has shown that on numerous occasions for Ajax the past two season.

This season he has scored nine goals in 39 appearances but has also been an assist machine. The 25-year-old has provided an incredible 18 assists in all competitions this season and is set to be the focal point of Morocco’s attack at the World Cup this summer.

(Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Eriksen gone, Tottenham would be in need of a similar assist king and Ziyech is young enough to continue improving whilst still offering much of what Eriksen does for Spurs.

Signing Ziyech whilst Eriksen remains at the club would certainly not be necessary. With Dele Alli also present, it would be overkill in the number 10 role at Spurs.

But should they reluctantly let Eriksen head to Spain, Tottenham would be right to sign the carbon-copy Moroccan from Ajax this summer.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Abdoulaye Doucoure could be the ideal successor for Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele

The France Under-21 international has enjoyed a fine season.

Josh Kerr



Abdoulaye Doucoure
Photo: Getty Images

Watford‘s Abdoulaye Doucoure has enjoyed an impressive season at Vicarage Road and the versatile midfielder could prove to be an ideal signing for Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

According to the Mirror, Mauricio Pochettino is ready to listen to offers for the likes of Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Dembele was one of the names shortlisted and has been a revelation in his six years at the club.

Many Spurs players, including Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier stated in Soccer AM interviews that they believe the 30-year-old midfielder to be the best player at the club.

However, Dembele is one of the stars linked with a departure from the Lilywhites so a replacement for the Belgian will be a vital priority for Pochettino this summer. Doucoure could be the perfect man for the job.

The 25-year-old has been the Hornets’ stand-out player this season and has consistently demonstrated that he is capable of playing at the highest level.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Usually a holding midfielder, he is best known for his intricate array of passing in the middle of the park and his ability to break up play.

These traits match the qualities Dembele possesses and, therefore, he would prove a smart signing for Spurs.

The Frenchman also boasts an impressive tally in front of goal with seven goals and four assists in the league this season.

According to The Sun, Doucoure has been a previous target for Spurs, and the potential departure of Dembele gives Pochettino a greater incentive to find a replacement for the Belgium midfielder.

The France Under-21 international has two years remaining on his contract at Vicarage Road and is valued at £40 million.

The midfielder has been a goalscoring threat in a Watford side that has struggled to find consistency all season.

A move to one of the top-six would allow Doucoure to take his qualities to the next level and should definitely be a name the Lilywhites are monitoring over the summer period.

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