Football News

Mauricio Pochettino was a victim of Spurs success, says Jan Vertonghen

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 12:08, 3 December 2019

Jan Vertonghen believes former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino was a victim of his own success at the club.

The 47-year-old Argentine tactician was shown the door at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month and was subsequently replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Pochettino at Spurs: Five key things to know…

  • Mauricio Pochettino joined Spurs in 2014.
  • He took charge of 293 matches in all competitions, winning 160 and losing 73.
  • Under him, Spurs would finish in the Premier League top four on four occasions.
  • He also guided Spurs to two major finals albeit losing in both against Chelsea (2015 League Cup) and Liverpool (2019 Champions League)
  • A poor start to the 2019/20 season saw him dismissed with Jan Vertonghen believing he was a victim of his own success.

His dismissal ended a five-year stay in north London a period that saw him guide Spurs to two major cup finals as well as regularly finishing in the Premier League top four places.

He would ultimately preside over 293 matches in all competitions, winning 160 of those contests, but victories were hard to come by this season as Pochettino claimed just five across 17 matches played.

Under his watch, Spurs suffered the ignominy of being dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League Two outfit Colchester United, before Bayern Munich humbled them 7-2 at home, a rout that got people wondering if Pochettino’s long-term future was at the club.

It wouldn’t be long before chairman Daniel Levy thanked him for his services before showing him the way out and Vertonghen, who admits the players let him down, feels Pochettino set the bar high and the only way was down.

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“Sometimes you’re a victim of your own success,” he said.

“He did so well and the expectations got bigger. That’s the world of football. It’s a business world, as well. I came here and played in the Europa League and he definitely brought this club to the next level. Not being in a top four spot is now disappointing.

“Our displays [under Pochettino] were not up to our standards. We’re all responsible. He put us on the pitch to win and we haven’t been doing that like we should, so everyone feels responsible. I sent him a [private] message. That was my message to him.”