EPL

Tottenham operate in a different way to our rivals - Pochettino explains squad-building process

By Sports Desk August 19, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino suggested Tottenham have to shape their squad in a different way to their rivals in order to compete at the top of the Premier League.

Spurs had gone 18 months without making a signing before bringing in Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke and immediately sending the winger back on loan to Elland Road in July.

Clarke was indicative of the of business Spurs conducted in the window, with the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon amassing plenty of experience yet still burgeoning talents that Pochettino will look to hone in the coming years.

Pochettino, who has guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes, says the development of young talent remains Spurs' best chance of continued success.

"We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn't win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player," he said.

"Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player and, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.

"When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it's a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.

"I don't like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid. 

"Now we've sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing. 

"Maybe he was the fourth or fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it's important people realise we're building players and that they're still young.

"He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday] and the best team. 

"So, it's a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.

"They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham."

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    Daniel Farke will celebrate Norwich City's surprise victory over Premier League champions Manchester City with "a coffee and a piece of cake" after training on Sunday.

    Norwich produced a brilliant display to see off City 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday and claim their second win of a vibrant start to the 2019-20 season that has included some good moments in defeats to Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham.

    Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell put the Canaries two goals ahead, before Sergio Aguero reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time.

    Teemu Pukki restored Norwich's advantage after Emiliano Buendia caught Nicolas Otamendi napping, with Rodri's late effort proving solely a consolation for Pep Guardiola's side.

    Asked how he would celebrate the famous victory, Farke said: "To be honest, it was a really complicated week and I'm happy when I'm back on my sofa this evening because I'm too old and too exhausted to celebrate.

    "We have training Sunday morning and we have to analyse the game so for that I have to watch the game back.

    "So it will be a pretty late night for me to be prepared, but hopefully on Sunday afternoon on the sofa I can have a coffee and a piece of cake, I will celebrate with this.

    "All our supporters are definitely allowed to celebrate and enjoy this day because if you don't value these moments you lose your motivation, but we will definitely stay calm."

    Norwich were without seven players due to injury and Farke felt that provided additional sweetness to an unexpected success, though he always sets his team out to "reach something excellent".

    "It is definitely a proud night, without any doubt," he said. "To win against the best team in the world, with world-class players, a world-class coach, a top club, as Norwich City, as a newly promoted side who has no chance to spend an unbelievable amount of money in the summer in a situation with an unbelievable amount of injured players, it's really special.

    "I always believe in my players. We know we were not the favourites and everything has to come together. But we play football to reach something excellent, not just realistic things.

    "We have had several good games but the outcome in terms of points was not perfect because we played some really decent sides and so you struggle with self-confidence.

    "It was important to give them back the belief and some self-confidence - but it seems like we found the right words and decisions.

    "Against such quality you have to play slightly different because you can't control possession against Manchester City. We had to try and allow Manchester City possession in certain areas and with certain players.

    "It was complicated to prepare this game, but my lads fulfilled everything we tried to work on in the last few days in a perfect way."

  • Guardiola congratulates clinical Canaries Guardiola congratulates clinical Canaries

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    Norwich were without 11 players due to injury and head coach Daniel Farke had to include two goalkeepers as substitutes in order to fill his bench, but they pulled off a stunning 3-2 home win.

    The Canaries led 2-0 thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell and held their nerve despite Sergio Aguero halving the deficit before half-time.

    Nicolas Otamendi's error led to Teemu Pukki making it 3-1 and although Rodri's late strike set up a nervous finale, the promoted outfit were able to hold on for a famous victory.

    City's first loss in the Premier League since January leaves them five points behind Liverpool, who have won all five of their games in the 2019-20 campaign, as Guardiola's men seek a third consecutive title.

    "Sometimes games like this happen – we had our chances to score but didn't, so congratulations to Norwich," Guardiola said. "It is football – we had many opportunities today, they had three or four and scored three goals.

    "The first one was a set-piece we didn't defend, the second we were caught on the counter-attack and the third came from a mistake, but we know what we are as a team, we know what we have done and we know what we are going to do.

    "I love my players and it's a pleasure to be with them. They didn't create so many chances, but they got three goals – we played Bournemouth and they had more chances than Norwich did today, but we won that game – football can sometimes do this."

    Guardiola sprang a surprise by starting with Kevin De Bruyne on the bench and while he introduced the Belgium star in the second half, along with Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, City could not find an equaliser.

    "Even at 2-0, we knew we were still in it because we can create a lot of chances in a short space of time," Guardiola added.

    "But the third goal hurt us because we had started [the second half] well and we were there, but in the end it didn't happen. In football you can't always avoid mistakes.

    "They are a really good team with good players who have quality, we saw that in the Championship last year, they were clinical today.

    "We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have. Even at 3-2 we had chances to make it 3-3 – this team never gives up and that's why we have done what we have done."

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    Aymeric Laporte is expected to be out until the new year after undergoing surgery on a knee injury, with the Premier League champions losing at Carrow Road in his absence on Saturday.

    Goals from Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki earned the injury-hit Canaries a famous win, while Sergio Aguero and Rodri were on target for City.

    Before the game Guardiola indicated City would not enter the market to replace Laporte despite being left with only two senior centre-backs, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, after the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany.

    Stones and Otamendi were both at fault in a dreadful defensive performance as City lost in the league for the first time since January, with McLean's headed opener coming from a corner.

    Asked if City have a problem defending near-post corners in particular, Guardiola said: "In four seasons, yes. Our quality of play is different but we defended incredibly well in the past."

    Guardiola, who surprisingly left talisman Kevin De Bruyne on the bench, feels Stones and Otamendi can still form a reliable partnership in the wake of their error-strewn display, while Kyle Walker was involved in conceding a cheap second goal to Cantwell.

    "It's football," he added. "We talk and improve from this, Kyle knows it and this happens sometimes, try to improve for the next time.

    "They [Stones and Otamendi] play how many times together? A lot, they are the centre-backs we have. Maybe Fernandinho or Rodri can play there. I'm not worried, it's football. How many games John and Nico played in more than three games together? A lot.

    "Normally I count their chances and I think they didn't create too much, three goals, I don't know from how many shots on target but I don't have that feeling they had many, many chances, but sometimes this happens."

    An injury crisis left Norwich without 11 players and Daniel Farke could not even fill his bench of seven substitutes without including two goalkeepers.

    "Of course it is special day for us and for the club," he told BBC Sport. "Against one of the best teams in the world and when we have so many injuries.

    "We had to be special in our plan for City because they are the best team in the world, but we had setbacks too with our injuries.

    "We deserve the win, we were exceptional."

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