Jermaine Pennant has given Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino some advice when talking to Sky Sports’ The Debate, ahead of Spurs’ second leg against Ajax next week.
Spurs suffered a 1-0 defeat at their new stadium to the Dutch outfit in the last four of the Champions League, endangering their chances of reaching the final against Liverpool or Barcelona.
Pochettino started the match with a 3-4-2-1 system, and it allowed Ajax’s full-backs to travel unopposed. Changing that to a back four after Jan Vertonghen’s injury, Spurs looked much more suited and took the game to Ajax.
Though they dominated the second half, they could not find an equaliser and now must overturn a 1-0 deficit next week in Amsterdam. Pennant has urged Pochettino to start with four at the back, and focus on Ajax’s midfield.
“You play the same formation [as the one that finished the game],” Pennant said. “Ajax’s strong point is their midfield, so you have got to make sure that you match that.
“In the second half they looked like a much better team. If they match the midfield, you go into the game leading.”
Spurs simply have got to score the first goal against Ajax next week, and having Son Heung-min back from suspension is an enormous boost.
Pochettino’s side needed a goal but the Argentine boss was unable to change anything in attack, with his bench lacking in any kind of attacking prowess. The best he could do was change his full-backs.
Harry Kane is also in with a shout of returning for the second leg. If Spurs score the first, they have an excellent chance of qualifying for the final of the competition.