Former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Glenn Hoddle believes the difference between Mauricio Pochettino’s team and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is that, though the sides play a similar brand of football, Spurs are physically more capable of executing the system.
Liverpool have endured wildly mixed results since the German took charge at Anfield. Emphatic wins over Chelsea and Manchester City have been marred by disappointing results to lower league opposition such as Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion.
The Reds’ 3-3 draw at home to Arsenal was a microcosm of Klopp’s reign so far: plenty of invention and character but a lacking of ruthlessness and consistency.
A similar level of inconsistency was apparent during Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Anfield. The Reds were the better side throughout the 90 minutes but could not capitalise and switched off during a set-piece, which allowed Wayne Rooney to score his 176th Premier League goal for United.
This is not something that has not troubled Pochettino’s team, however, as their 4-1 victory over Sunderland secured their fourth win in six games.
Spurs legend Hoddle can see the similarities between Pochettino and the German’s approach. However, he believes there is one main reason why Liverpool aren’t able to echo the success that the Argentinian’s side are enjoying of late.
”Mauricio Pochettino’s teams play at similar pace and it has taken some time to get his Tottenham players fit enough to match his tactics,” Hoddle wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“While Liverpool have a glut of hamstring injuries, Spurs have hardly had any. You would suspect that is down to their respective levels of fitness and preparations.”
The Reds currently have Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel out of action due to hamstring injuries while Spurs do not appear to have any player suffering from that particular complaint at present.
Whether Liverpool’s injury worries have been self-inflicted or have come about through a rotten spell of luck, it is an issue the club need to deal with quickly if they hope to mount any kind of challenge for the top four. They are currently ninth and eight points off Spurs in fourth place.