Pochettino looks to relight passion and desire from last season in his players

Pochettino looks to relight passion and desire from last season in his players

The Argentine accused his players of lacking aggression and desire in the first half of their clashes against Monaco and Stoke.

Francesca Byrne

Tottenham Hotspur will host Sunderland at White Hart Lane this weekend and will look to bounce back after their disappointing return to the UEFA Champions League.

Their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, believes that Tottenham still have a lot to improve after the last two games as he believes that the club only have themselves to blame. He commented that the team “can lose, not play well but never concede two goals how we conceded” against Monaco, but he dismissed that individuals were to blame as he labelled the it a “collective problem” before adding that the team must “learn from that” and “play more in the way we usually play”.

Desire, Passion and Aggression missing for Spurs

After Tottenham’s frustrating 2-1 loss to Monaco in their opening game of the Champions League, Pochettino has admitted that his players lacked aggression in the opening 45 minutes.

The argentine also expressed his disappointment at the beginning of the Stoke game due to the same reason. Tottenham won the game 4-0 thanks to a Heung-Min Son brace and goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Yet Pochettino believes that the game could have panned out differently.

The manager drew links between the game and the one at Wembley, commenting that: “I remember the first half was the same as against Monaco. In the first actions they [Stoke] had the facility to score and then because we scored late in the first half and again in the second half we won 4-0."

He added, “Maybe if Stoke had scored in the first few minutes, maybe the result would have been different- and against Monaco, with the first chance they scored”.

The argentine then went on to say that his feelings towards the game does not depend on the result but rather “the performance and what I can see during the game”.

When asked how he why he thought this was Pochettino commented that in both games “in the first half, we had a lack of passion, a lack of aggression a lack of desire to play” before adding that “in the second half we showed a lot [more] and we played very well”. Yet the manager admitted he didn’t know why they didn’t show the “passion” despite the club waiting six years to return to Europe’s top competition. 

Pochettino will can only hope that his player re-find the desire that drove them to challenge for the title last season against Sunderland this weekend.