Tottenham: Pochettino on Spurs 'project'; Two more new contracts; Alli reflects on first year
Spurs host high-flying Manchester City this afternoon and manager Mauricio Pochettino was keen to stress the differences between the two clubs’ budgets. The Argentinian guided Spurs to third last season last season and has done a superb job at White Hart Lane since his appointment in the summer of 2014. The Lilywhites are unbeaten so far this Premier League season and have the best defensive record in the division. They face a stern test against Pep Guardiola’s City today however, who have made a 100% start the league campaign. However, it is the perfect opportunity for Spurs to display their title credentials. Pochettino said:
“You can see the budget, the salaries they pay and compare with Tottenham and it’s very clear. They compare with United, Liverpool. We are in a project here and for that, Spurs is different.
“Remember when I arrived, my first season here. Compare that with Guardiola – how much he spent and how much I spent. We are in a very different project. I don’t need to explain that.”
After years of madness and late deals in the transfer market, Spurs have taken a more holistic and long-term outlook in recent times. Their transition to the new stadium will be difficult, and resources may well be restricted for a few years. Pochettino is well used to this having worked at Southampton and Espanyol and has a good track record with youngsters. He got the better of Guardiola’s treble-winning Barcelona side in a Catalan derby and will be hoping for a repeat result today. Spurs are expected to go for the throat and press City very high, which should make for an exhilarating contest.
Elsewhere, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and defender Toby Alderweireld are set to sign new long-term contracts at the club. It seems that a Tottenham player signs a new contract every few days currently, with Daniel Levy keen to protect the value of their key assets. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker have all signed on in recent weeks and with a crop of promising youngsters coming through as well, the future looks bright for Spurs. Lloris and Alderweireld were part of an outstanding Tottenham spine last season, and the club did well to get through the summer without any suitors sniffing around them. Signing the Belgian defender was a real coup; he was outstanding for Southampton and Spurs snapped him up when his loan spell from Atletico Madrid was completed.
Finally, Dele Alli has been talking about a ‘crazy’ first year in north London. Alli joined Spurs from MK Dons for just £5 million last summer and has quickly established himself as a regular starter for club and country. All said:
“I remember this time last season, I was still just trying to get in the starting 11 and trying to get playing and show what I can do. Things have been crazy ever since.
“It was hard moving from Milton Keynes to London and trying to get my way into the team, not really knowing that many people down here and trying to make this my home.
“It happened naturally and I felt comfortable straight away. I was working with the manager and in training and trying to get into the starting 11.”
Again, it was something of a surprise that some of the traditional powerhouses didn’t target Alli in the summer. The Englishman has benefitted immensely from Moussa Dembele’s return from suspension, who provides a technical platform for Alli to operate higher up the pitch where he can do opponents damage.
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