Tottenham: Pochettino praises team’s ‘strong mentality’; No new recruitment chief; Kane latest

Tottenham: Pochettino praises team's 'strong mentality'; No new recruitment chief; Kane latest

Mauricio Pochettino has claimed his Spurs side are one of the ‘mentally strongest’ squads in the league, ahead of their Saturday lunchtime Premier League clash at Bournemouth. Pochettino has managed to redefine the colloquialism ‘Spursy’, a pejorative term that was used to describe Tottenham’s tendency to self-destruct and fold under pressure.

However, the north Londoners are now a well-oiled unit who are an extremely difficult team to play against due to their relentless energy levels and pressing. They didn’t cope well with the disappointment of the title being taken out of their reach after the infamous 2-2 draw at Chelsea, and stumbled over the line to finish below fierce rivals Arsenal. Pochettino has insisted that was a mental issue, rather than a problem of ailing legs as some have suggested. On his team’s mentality, the Argentinian said:

“It’s about mentality,” Pochettino insisted. I think we are one of the best squads mentally. We are very strong. The squad is very strong. I think that is very important – the spirit.”

 

One of the impressive aspects of Tottenham’s start to the season has been the lack of hangover from last season’s disappointing finish. Moreover, key members of their first team were heavily involved in the European Championship in the summer. As a result perhaps, they have endured a tough time with injuries with Harry Kane, Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld all missing vital minutes. The fact that Spurs have remained unbeaten domestically despite these absences bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

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Elsewhere, there is an intriguing article by Matt Hughes in The Times today stating that Pochettino is keen for greater control over transfers at White Hart Lane. Head of recruitment Paul Mitchell departed the club last December and Pochettino has reportedly asked that a replacement is not found as he wants to ditch the director of football model and have more control in his own hands. Despite their strong start to the season, there were whispers in the summer of tension between the manager a Daniel Levy about the club’s business, or lack thereof. Levy is known as a fierce negotiator and a CEO who wants an active part in the club’s dealings. The Times report says:

“Pochettino feels he can cope without someone in that role and is planning to have a greater say in transfers.

“With Tottenham the only unbeaten side in the Premier League this season after going close to winning the title last season, Levy is not minded to overrule the manager by insisting on an appointment, particularly as he likes to take a hands-on involvement in transfer and contract negotiations himself.

“Any new appointment is likely to be a low-profile addition to Tottenham’s scouting team.”

 

Finally, Harry Kane has returned to training after several weeks out with ankle ligament damage. The season’s north London derby at the Emirates looms on November 6th, which could set up a dramatic return to action for the Englishman. As his manager alluded to, there is a big difference between running on grass again and full match fitness, but the trip to Arsenal looks feasible. Heung Min Son and other have filled the void while he was out, and the period of rest could work in Kane and Tottenham’s favour.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Serg Hoholok

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