Pochettino fumes at pas­sion­less Spurs

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MAURICIO POCHETTINO ac­cused his Tot­ten­ham flops of lack­ing pas­sion af­ter Monaco ru­ined their record-break­ing night at Wem­b­ley with a 2-1 win in the Cham­pi­ons League.

Pochettino was hop­ing his side would mark their re­turn to the Cham­pi­ons League af­ter a five-year ab­sence with a dom­i­nant dis­play in front of an English club record at­ten­dance of 85,011.

But the north Lon­don­ers slumped to a lack­lus­tre loss as goals from Bernardo Silva and Thomas Le­mar handed the points to the French league lead­ers in the Group E opener.

Pochettino couldn’t hide his frus­tra­tion at Tot­ten­ham’s be­low­par per­for­mance and the Ar­gen­tine coach ques­tioned his play­ers’ de­sire, as well as lam­bast­ing their sloppy de­fen­sive ef­forts.

“We need to show more hunger and pas­sion. We showed a lack of pas­sion to­day a lit­tle bit be­cause we can­not con­cede that first goal,” Pochettino said.

“We need to be more ag­gres­sive when we have chances to score. That is what we said in the chang­ing room.

“It was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity. We waited a long time to be in the Cham­pi­ons League and we fight a lot last sea­son to be in it. The feel­ing is why didn’t we do more?”

De­spite the record-break­ing dis­play from their fans, Tot­ten­ham never looked com­fort­able in their un­fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings fol­low­ing the club’s de­ci­sion to move their Euro­pean games to Wem­b­ley while White Hart Lane is be­ing re­de­vel­oped.

But Pochettino re­fused to use that as an ex­cuse and in­sisted his team had only them­selves to blame.

“No, that is to put an ex­cuse. Football is on the pitch. We need to im­prove and learn we can­not con­cede a goal like that first one,” Pochettino said when asked about the Wem­b­ley fac­tor.

Pochettino hauled off Son He­ung-Min at half­time af­ter he missed an early golden op­por­tu­nity to put Tot­ten­ham ahead, but he claimed he hadn’t put all the blame on the South Korea mid­fielder be­cause he would liked to have made more wide­spread changes.

Monaco’s im­pres­sive dis­play main­tained their su­perb start to the sea­son and boss Leonardo Jardim rubbed salt into Tot­ten­ham’s wounds by claim­ing his team ben­e­fit­ted from the de­ci­sion to switch the match to Wem­b­ley.

Wem­b­ley has a larger pitch than White Hart Lane, lead­ing Jardim to claim the wide-open spa­ces had negated Tot­ten­ham’s usual high­tempo press­ing game.

“Tac­ti­cally be­cause it’s a larger pitch it might have af­fected them neg­a­tively. On a larger pitch it’s harder to close peo­ple down be­cause there is more space,” he said.

Even though Tot­ten­ham got one back through Toby Alder­weireld be­fore half­time, Monaco com­fort­ably kept the hosts at bay in the sec­ond half.

“I was sad at half­time but I said to the play­ers if you had said we were go­ing to be win­ning 2-1 at half­time I would have taken that.” – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.