By 90Min
October 08, 2019

Losing 3-0 away at Brighton? At your age, Tottenham Hotspur? Good one. Grow up.

Spurs have definitely passed the point of experiencing a blip and falling into a crisis, and for the first time in nearly five years, pressure is mounting on Mauricio Pochettino.

The squad is stale, the philosophy is waning, and the very sight of some players is making fans want to heave. So what can be done?

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Here's 90min's totally bulletproof plan to fix Spurs until they can buy and sell their way out of the abyss.


Stand By Mauricio Pochettino

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It goes without saying that Pochettino is the most influential figure at Tottenham in the 21st century, but he is starting to have his doubters.

He may not have a trophy to his name as a coach, but Pochettino's drastically improved the lives of so many people at the club - from making players better, to giving fans memories that will last a lifetime.

The problem at Spurs is a very human one - the coach can't motivate his players to run as much as they used to, to be aggressive as much as he wants, but that's a natural reaction if you're not an elite, crazily-driven character. Metaphors involving mechanics or machinery do injustice to both parties here because they imply solutions can happen in an instant.

But Pochettino has earned the right to prove he's the man to turn this around. It would be unprecedented - Jurgen Klopp burned out at Borussia Dortmund, Jose Mourinho faded away at Chelsea twice as well as at Manchester United, Arsene Wenger did so with Arsenal - but the Argentine is almost guaranteed to find success at another club if he leaves Spurs. A new coach, however, would not guarantee success in this part of north London.


Drop the Belgians

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Fans were outraged when Pochettino started the season with Jan Vertonghen on the bench, but in hindsight, it was probably the right decision. Both he and long-term centre-back partner Toby Alderweireld have looked a lot more than a yard slower this year, in their minds and on the pitch. With their contracts up in June, it's increasingly likely that both will leave in the near future.

The Belgians haven't been helped in having sub-standard options at full-back supporting them, with Serge Aurier continuing to be brainless and Danny Rose being at fault for nearly a goal a game.

At this rate, Spurs are going to concede 57 Premier League goals this season, which would be the most under Pochettino to date, so if they're going to be leaky, they may as well be leaky with blooding youngsters who can garner some much-needed experience instead of standing by as the old guard fails.

Kyle Walker-Peters has proven to be a timid right-back, but he makes fewer mistakes than Aurier, and Ryan Sessegnon could become a top left-back under Pochettino. In the middle, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth could become a fun ball-playing partnership, and certainly a more mobile one. Sure, they'll concede goals, but it's a move for the future.


Do Everything to Help Tanguy Ndombele

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Look, Tanguy Ndombele is just quite obviously the midfielder that Spurs are crying out for, even if he's huffing and puffing after 60 minutes. He admitted he'd never worked as hard as when he first came to the club, so it will take him time to adjust, but the important thing is he can respond to Pochettino's ideas without any mental lethargy.

He just needs some help anchoring that midfield, and the Brighton performance showed Eric Dier definitely isn't the man to help with that, while Victor Wanyama's body no longer seems acclimatised for Premier League football.

A defensive midfielder should be on Tottenham's list of priorities in the January and summer windows, but until then, maybe giving 19-year-old Oliver Skipp could prove a viable solution. 


Implement New Attacking Responsibilities

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Sorry, Tottenham fans. Harry Kane is just physically incapable of being the striker he once was. It's time to adapt.

Pochettino's initial plans of using a diamond formation so that Son Heung-min would do Kane's running for him caused other issues to arise, notably in increasing the midfield workload and leaving Spurs exposed defensively.

If Pochettino wants Spurs to be aggressive again, he needs to up the intensity in the final third, finally trusting Lucas Moura as much as he does Son. The problem of trying to break down deep blocks will remain tough, but relying on Christian Eriksen to be chief creator until Giovani Lo Celso returns from injury looks the safest bet (at which point the Dane should never play for the club again).

Dele Alli looks completely lost nowadays, and should probably now only be playing in games where Tottenham will have a little more freedom until he finds his feet again. Erik Lamela remains a decent option.

Just don't play the diamond. Anything but the diamond.


Stand By Pochettino's Principles

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The most philosophical, eloquent, sophisticated man to manage in north London? That would be Arsene Wenger. Pochettino bangs on about lemons cleansing the air and crap like that. It's not him.

However, there is method among his occasional madness - players come to train not to play, you must be willing to run through walls for the team, you must be aggressive when you take to the pitch.

When Pochettino first arrived at White Hart Lane, he had a tough job of standing up to a dressing room mutiny - senior figures such as captain Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue, Emmanuel Adebayor and even stalwart Aaron Lennon didn't believe in the process, but youngsters like Harry Kane and Ryan Mason did. The quality of players has improved considerably, but the principle applies here - those who do not want to be at the club should no longer represent the club.

A 'painful rebuild' has been stressed by Pochettino, and he wants to be the man to front that - should the cub really stand with an ageing dressing room over their generational manager?


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