Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes he is at a significant disadvantage to some of his immediate rivals already this season due to his players’ success at this summer’s World Cup.
Nobody had more players involved in the World Cup semi finals with a total nine Spurs stars represented in the final four.
Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld all joined pre-season at the latest possible point this summer.
This has had a detrimental effect on Tottenham’s pre-season preparations with several key players yet to get up to speed. It produced a somewhat laboured performance in their opening game against Newcastle but Spurs did manage to get the job done, emerging 2-1 victors.
With Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool having a combined total of eight first-team players represented in the semi finals, Pochettino has claimed it has left his side and the two Manchester clubs already playing catch up in the Premier League title race this season.
He said, as quoted by Football London: "I think Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool are different, but Tottenham, City, United, the teams that had more players involved in the semi-finals of the World Cup, it's a massive challenge for us, trying to care, to look after them.
"Too much holiday for the players is not good, not so much is the same, it's not so good. It's so difficult to find the balance. It's a massive challenge for every single coaching staff.”
Tottenham face another favourable tie at home to newly promoted Fulham this week. Slavisa Jokanovic’s side fought valiantly but were ultimately undone by Crystal Palace in their first game back in the top flight.