Tottenham: Pochettino not worried; Redknapp's odd Chelsea claim; Conte told to 'calm down'
Mauricio Pochettino said he is not worried by Spurs’ lack of wins in recent weeks, as they went down 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Tottenham have not recorded a victory at Chelsea since 1990, a remarkably grim record considering the rivalry between the two clubs. Pochettino’s side started well, dominating the first period and taking the lead through Christian Eriksen’s fine left foot strike. However, almost from nowhere Pedro hauled the Blues levels with a curling effort from outside the box before Victor Moses’ deflected second-half goal sealed all three points. Spurs have just one win from their last 10 games in all competitions, but Pochettino was encouraged by his charges against the league leaders:
“I am not worried. The players showed a good response to Monaco, they showed the right mentality. There were many positives. But we lost. In football you have to score goals and defend well. Maybe we were a little bit better, but they got the better result.”
Pochettino has been at White Hart Lane for two and half years, and this is probably his most challenging period. It is important to keep perspective; after all, yesterday’s loss was their first league defeat of the season. However, Spurs are struggling to recapture last season’s dynamic. The reasons for this are various; the added demands of Champions League football, the inability of summer purchases Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen to make an impact, more injuries than last term and certain individuals losing form such as Eric Dier. That said, there is still a solid base to work from and getting the first-choice back four back together should help Spurs. Finishing in the top four again would be a major achievement given how competitive the top of the league is this season.
Elsewhere, former Tottenham boss and BT Sport pundit has made the slightly odd claim that he would not swap of Chelsea’s starting XI for Tottenham’s. Redknapp expressed concerns about left back Marcus Alonso and the durability of Antonio Conte’s back three. Nevertheless, given the form of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa this term, Redknapp’s claim is certainly a bold one. The former West Ham and Portsmouth manager said:
“I think when they have got a fully fit team, I would not want to be swapping anyone in Chelsea’s best team for Tottenham’s.
“Maybe Chelsea are top of the league, but you do not stop the league today. The back four, you get Alderweireld back, you get Rose back, you get a fully fit squad, and I think Tottenham are excellent.
“In the first half I thought they completely outplayed Chelsea today, Chelsea got the goal at the right time and it brought them back into the game, second half they were much better, but I still think Tottenham will be bang in there at the end of the season.”
Finally, Pochettino had to tell Conte and his coaching staff to calm down in the touchline at Stamford Bridge according to a report in the Mail on Sunday. The former Italy manager is known for his vehement gesticulations on the sidelines, which can be little over-zealous at times. Earlier this season, Jose Mourinho had words with Conte after Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Manchester United, accusing him of disrespect. There is certainly no love lost between Chelsea and Spurs, with last season’s 2-2 draw ending in a mass brawl at the mouth of the tunnel.
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