Perhaps it’s because Tottenham have sometimes lacked the requisite strength in depth or Mauricio Pochettino’s desire for cohesion in his sides, but the Argentine tends to leave it late to throw on substitutes to try and alter the course of matches.
It’s no surprise that delaying changes does not really work; it gives the player coming on precious little time to get up to the speed of the match and make an impact and minimizes the impact of the replacement’s fresh legs.
So with Spurs 1-0 down against PSV last night, it was perhaps surprising to see Pochettino take decisive, early action.
He reached for Erik Lamela just past the hour mark, although that switch’s impact was tempered by the fact that Lucas Moura, the game’s most effective player until that point, was the man to be replaced.
Then, with 15 minutes remaining, which is late by other manager’s standards but reasonably early for Pochettino, he threw on Kieran Trippier and Fernando Llorente and the duo changed the game.
Llorente allowed Tottenham to go that bit more direct and Harry Kane’s freer role saw him score the two crucial goals that kept Pochettino alive.
The Argentine has to learn his lesson from this; to be more proactive with his changes to give the players a chance to make an impact on proceedings.