Tottenham will open their Champions League campaign when they would host AS Monaco on Wednesday 14th September at the White Hart Lane. Last season, Tottenham posted an unexpected and totally surprising title challenge when they slowly gathered momentum in the middle stages and looked most likely to grab the title from the grasps of Leicester City, only to fall apart in the final stretch, not winning any of their last 4 games to finish third, behind their eternal rivals Arsenal once again.
There were many reasons for their failure last season but in reality it was a fantastic season for the London club in which the squad exceeded expectations. By virtue of their performances last season, Tottenham will be playing in the Champions League once again since the 2010/11 season when Harry Redknapp was their manager. With the added fixtures of Europe, let’s take a look at some of the things which Tottenham just cannot afford to do this time round.
Tire Out Players Due To Lack Of Rotation
One of the major reasons for the unprecedented collapse of Pochettino’s men last season was the tiredness of the players in the final stretch of games. It was not unexpected though as the Argentine had indications of his players experiencing burnouts during the games but remarkably he didn’t pay much heed to that instead stating that his players are not tired at all. Pochettino, who employs the Marcelo Bielsa style of pressing off the ball, requires his players to give it their all throughout the full 90 minutes and it’s almost impossible for the players to keep up the levels over an entire season without being rotated.
Last season, Spurs didn’t go far in the domestic cup competitions and were not in the Champions League, still they suffered as their manager never really did rotate his players much, while Claudio Ranieri, managed to not rotate players and still win the league, Pochettino was not that fortunate in accomplishing that task as his players suffered affecting the team’s results at the end. This year, with the added pressure of the European competition, the Argentine cannot afford to make the same mistake again and will need to rotate his squad if he aims to mount another title challenge with the aim of doing well in the other competitions the team will be involved in.
Not Have A Plan B
One of the major problems of almost all the managers across Europe is their lack of plan B. It happens not because the managers are too inept to employ a strategy other than their primary but because they don’t always have the resources to employ it against particular oppositions. Mauricio Pochettino is a manager who is tactically very aware and has great knowledge of the game as well. Pochettino was very stretched in his options regarding the attack last season with Harry Kane being the only proper quality striker available to him.
This season he has added Vincent Janssen to his squad who is a very good signing. Janssen would provide something different in the attack as another option but in the midfield, the team is still heavily reliant on Christian Eriksen. Dele Alli had a great impact last season but the central hub of creativity is the Danish midfielder. As a result even with Alli on the field Spurs suffer if Eriksen is nullified. Having multiple lines of passing can counter that problem. Pochettino would need to devise some alternate plans and keep them up his sleeve with the English club facing a greater variety of opponents this year.
Prove That Last Season Was An Anomaly
Under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham has finished 5th and 3rd in the last two seasons, consistency has long been the biggest problem for the club in the past with the team looking good and finishing within the top four one season and then not managing to break into Champions League spots for the next ones. Last season was great but now it is a much bigger challenge for the club and its players this season, as they will not have to replicate their performances of last season but look to better it to prove that it was not an anomaly.