Football News

Mauricio Pochettino insists he has backing of “friend” Daniel Levy at Spurs

By Ben Green

Published: 14:22, 8 October 2019

Mauricio Pochettino remains adamant he has the full support of Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy despite his side’s shaky start to the season.

Spurs suffered a third Premier League defeat of the campaign on Saturday after Brighton ran out 3-0 victors at the Falmer Stadium.

How bad are things for Spurs? Five things to know…

  • Spurs reached the Champions League final last season and broke their transfer record over the summer.
  • However, after a troublesome start to 2019/20, pressure is beginning to build on Pochettino.
  • Spurs currently sit ninth in the league table and have been knocked out of the League Cup.
  • Their 7-2 loss to Bayern last week was also the biggest-ever margin of defeat for an English team at home in any European competition.
  • Despite this, Pochettino insists chairman Levy has given him his full support.

The defeat against Graham Potter’s side came just four days after Spurs were humbled 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

That thrashing by the German powerhouse was Spurs’ heaviest ever defeat in European competition, while Saturday’s loss made it 12 defeats in 2019 alone.

Spurs currently sit ninth in the league table and have already been eliminated by Colchester United in the League Cup. These on-field issues are said to have been exacerbated by a litany of sore points among the playing squad. The Athletic say news of Levy’s annual salary of £6 million has gone down badly among players who feel they are underpaid.

Spurs have the sixth-highest wage bill in the Premier League and this represents 39% of club turnover. Every other ‘Big Six’ club invested at least half their annual turnover in player wages for the 2017/18 season, according to research by the Guardian.

But Pochettino insists he has the full support of Levy, telling a global football summit in Qatar: “We maintain a very good relationship and it is extraordinary to have that support.

“I have always told him that, in addition to my chairman, I consider him a friend.

“Football is not a drama, it is passion and we cannot separate it from emotions. But neither can we make a sport as fantastic as this one because of the latest result.

“We must learn from defeats to be able to exceed our limits and that begins by accepting that you don’t always win and that the opponent also works hard and makes merits.

“You must always react with dignity to the result, regardless of whether it is good or bad.”

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Pochettino “not worried” about sack

In the immediate aftermath of the defeat over the weekend Pochettino was quick to dismiss suggestions he could face the axe.

“No I am not worried [about being sacked], what worries me is life, not football,” he said.

“Football is a game that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The problem for us – it was win, win, win and it was praise for everyone.

“Now in the last two games it was a tough situation to accept. But I don’t want to be a philosopher or talk in a way that is not good.

“Football is [about being] strong and brave and taking decisions; and to show your face when things are not good.

“That is what we are going to do, face the negative things and try to work hard to change this dynamic. In my position, I need to accept all the criticism. The same when you praise me or the team.

“I’m going to accept it in the same way and it’s not going to change my vision, from you or the pundit because you’re criticising me or describing a situation differently to what you expect.”

Despite the poor start, Spurs could climb all the way back into the top five after their next Premier League match against bottom-of-the-table Watford. A win could see them supplant Chelsea, who host Newcastle United, in fifth should several results go their way after the international break.

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