English Premiership

Spurs heading into a crisis

2014-09-22 15:11
Spurs logo (File)

London - It was not supposed to be like this for Tottenham Hotspur's new manager Mauricio Pochettino who struggled to conceal his anger after Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

A month ago, after opening Premier League wins against West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers, Spurs were sitting top of the table.

Now, following home defeats to Liverpool and West Brom and a draw at Sunderland, they are ninth.

Next up on Wednesday is a tricky League Cup match against Championship (second tier) leaders Nottingham Forest, while next Saturday Spurs make the short trip to Arsenal where they have won just once in the last 21 years.

Pochettino arrived at White Hart Lane in the summer on a high after guiding Southampton to eighth last season, their best finish for 11 years.

It is perhaps ironic after a weekend in which the Saints won 1-0 at Swansea City that Pochettino's old club, strongly tipped for relegation after his departure and that of a number of key players, lie second.

"It was not a good day, We were bad with the ball, and bad without the ball," Pochettino said after West Brom earned their first win of the season and their first at White Hart Lane for 30 years.

Although the season is still in its infancy, there were worryingly familiar signs for Spurs fans who appear to suffer from false dawns and false prophets more than any other club in the top flight.

Pochettino replaced the popular Tim Sherwood at the end of last season, after Sherwood held the job for six months following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, who lasted 17.

Pochettino crouched down AVB-style, and threw a water bottle Sherwood-style as things went wrong on Sunday. Tottenham's trigger-happy chairman Daniel Levy is not known for his patience with managers.

On the plus side, Spurs played well at the start of the season reeling off four straight wins in the league and in Europe, and looked good in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

They lost out on all three points at the Stadium of Light when they conceded a late, unlucky own goal, and they gave a disciplined display to force a 0-0 draw at Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.

Pochettino needs to instill a consistency and passion in Spurs which his Southampton team showed last season.

Spurs are not in a crisis yet, but if the next two results go against them in the next few days, Pochettino's position will feel even more uncomfortable than it does now.


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