Football News

Mauricio Pochettino urged to pick “hungriest” players to get Spurs out of their rut

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:17, 6 October 2019

Former Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy has urged Mauricio Pochettino to use the “hungriest” players at his disposal in order to get the north Londoners back on track.

Spurs are going through a challenging period, having won just three of their opening 11 matches in all competitions this season.

Spurs’ miserable run: Five key things to know…

  • Spurs occupy ninth place in the Premier League table with just 11 points.
  • They were recently beaten 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
  • Never before has a Spurs team conceded seven goals at home.
  • A 3-0 defeat at Brighton means their winless streak away from home in the Premier League stretched to 10 games (eight defeats and two draws).
  • Spurs boss Pochettino, who signed a new five-year deal in May, has been urged by Murphy to make changes to his team.

Across their last six outings, Pochettino has seen his side dumped out of the League Cup to League Two outfit Colchester United and humiliated 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Never before in Spurs’ history have they conceded seven goals at home. To make the situation worse, the Lilywhites lost 3-0 at Brighton this weekend, leading Pochettino’s future at the club to be questioned.

As far as Murphy is concerned, it’s too hasty to dismiss Pochettino, and instead he feels the Argentine tactician – who signed a new five-year deal in May – must go back to the basics.

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Spurs are in danger of heading on a road to nowhere, and Murphy argues that the time is now to weed out those who are not pulling their weight – even if that means changing some of his previously most trusted lieutenants.

“Pochettino needs to return to basics immediately. That means picking a side with your hungriest, fittest players and sticking to it until you get a couple of wins and the confidence starts coming back,” he told the Daily Mail.

“There has been speculation about dressing-room harmony. I don’t see team-mates who don’t like each other, I just think there are a lot of players who have been at the same workplace for a long time and it’s going stale.

“Pochettino has been at Tottenham more than five years but [Danny] Rose, [Jan] Vertonghen, [Christian] Eriksen, [Hugo] Lloris, [Erik] Lamela, [Harry] Kane, [Toby] Alderweireld and [Harry] Winks have been there longer.

“It’s too many to have in that situation. When you get senior pros feeling their time at the club has run its course — I am thinking particularly about Vertonghen, Rose, Eriksen and Alderweireld — it is natural that their mind might be on pastures new, even if they are not saying it.”

The desire of many Spurs players may have been called into question in recent weeks, but Moussa Sissoko has called on the club to stay united as they attempt to navigate their poor run of form.