EPL

Pochettino claims Tottenham 'can't move forward quickly'

By Sports Desk November 08, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham's Premier League position is not a surprise and fears the club cannot move forward quickly.

Last season's Champions League finalists are 11th in the table after 11 games, having won just three times in the top flight this season.

Away form has been a particular problem, with Spurs having not won on the road in the league since January 20, while injury-time goals have cost them in recent visits to Liverpool and Everton.

Their domestic travails have not been echoed in Europe, though, with Wednesday's 4-0 defeat of Red Star Belgrade meaning they will progress to the last 16 of the Champions League if they beat Olympiacos on matchday five.

Pochettino believes there are plenty of positive signs within the club, who are being profiled this season by Amazon as part of their All or Nothing documentary series, but he suggests they have nonetheless regressed towards the standards of 2014, when he took charge.

"It's our reality. With all the circumstances, I think it's normal to be in the position we are," he said on Friday.

"We are working, trying to perform better and get better results. I have mentioned the circumstances. We are in the right direction to find the balance in the squad, the right way to perform, and we do as well as we can.

"Today is still so early. If we are able to find the right balance and perform in the way that we expect, of course it's still there, It's possible. We need to make sure we have the time to get everything right.

"We went back to five years ago where we were in terms of position, situation and stuff like that. It takes time. We can't move the club forward quickly. There are so many things. The time is the problem. It's a natural process.

"We need to stay calm and, like always, work hard, because that is the way to change this dynamic. But the time is the time and the process is the process.

"It's different than five years ago, but with a lot of similarities. It's difficult to talk now because I don't want to talk again about negative things. I want to be positive. I promise you, if it's all going well at the end of the season, I will explain - for you, and for Amazon, too!

"But I want to be positive. I think the signals in the past few weeks have been very positive. I know very well that to have a positive spirit and provide a good mood for everyone is so important. I think we talk a lot and it's not helpful.

"Now, there are a lot of positive things that we need to speak about and keep going, keep moving. All the fans, the club deserve that we start winning games again to be in a better position. Of course, in the Champions League, we are in a very good position now. But I think in the Premier League table, we are not."

Pochettino also offered an update on Hugo Lloris, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow sustained against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Spurs confirmed on Thursday that the goalkeeper has had to have surgery on the injury, which had not been healing as hoped.

The France international had been due to return in early 2020 but there are now fears he could be sidelined for longer.

"I didn't see him the last week - he wasn't here," said Pochettino. "But he is strong, he's very mature, a man. Of course, he's suffering now a little bit but he's going to come strong again."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Fairer to end LaLiga season now, says former Barca star Stoichkov Coronavirus: Fairer to end LaLiga season now, says former Barca star Stoichkov

    Former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov believes it would be fairer to end the LaLiga now, scrap relegation and promote two teams from the second division amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    LaLiga has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19, which has led to more than 12,640 deaths in Spain and over 69,450 globally.

    Reigning champions Barcelona held a two-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid when the league was stopped, while Cadiz and Real Zaragoza occupied the promotion places in Segunda Division.

    Stoichkov – who won five LaLiga titles and a European Cup among other honours during his time at Camp Nou – feels Barca should be crowned champions if no more games are played in 2019-20.

    "If we see how the situation is, with the matches which have been played, it would be fairer to end the La Liga season as it is now," Stoichkov told Cope program Tiempo de Juego.

    "Many teams could stay up at the bottom, there are a lot of matches left.

    "They could leave the league as it is, have no relegation and the top two from Segunda could get promoted to have a 22 team league. Because they have also done a lot of work to win many matches."

  • Aussie great Viduka reveals he almost joined Milan, held Man Utd talks Aussie great Viduka reveals he almost joined Milan, held Man Utd talks

    Mark Viduka revealed Leeds United blocked him from joining Milan in a £38million transfer in 2001, while the Australian great also held talks with Manchester United.

    Regarded as one of Australia's all-time greats, Viduka was a dominant force during his time with Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

    Viduka spent four years with Leeds and helped the Premier League club reach the 2001 Champions League semi-finals, prompting interest from across Europe.

    Serie A powerhouse Milan wanted Viduka but Leeds – eventually crippled by financial issues – prevented the former Socceroos captain from moving to San Siro.

    "I had the chance to join AC Milan at the end of the 2001 season, after we made the Champions League semi-final," the 44-year-old told ESPN.

    "[Leeds] were negotiating with Milan and wanted £38m. I was friends with [Milan star] Zvonimir Boban at the time, and we were negotiating terms through him. In the end, [Milan] offer the £38m, and Leeds didn't want to sell. And that was that.

    "I was a huge AC Milan fan. As a kid, I grew up watching [Marco] van Basten, [Frank] Rijkaard and [Ruud] Gullit ... They were my favourite team. It just wasn't to be."

    United – managed by Alex Ferguson at the time – were also admirers and tried to lure Viduka to Old Trafford, however, the 43-time Australia international opted to stay at Leeds.

    Detailing a meeting with music icon Elton John, Viduka said: "I was in Manchester, and my agent at the time also had a lot to do with Elton John.

    "He said stay for the night and come to the show. He had backstage passes, and I'd get the chance to meet the man for myself. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

    "So I'm there with Jacob Burns, my Leeds team-mate and fellow Aussie, as we got ushered into his dressing room. As we enter, Elton swings around on a swivel chair and says, 'Mark Viduka, you're from Melbourne. I love that place!'

    "I was nervous, so I babbled on about my meeting with the Red Devils that day and a possible move. Instead of going to our seats to watch the concert, Elton gets us to watch it at the side of the stage. About three songs in, he says, 'I want to dedicate this next one to my good friend Mark, who is in Manchester today to make a big decision.'

    "I'm thinking: 'S***, please don't say anymore!' Thank God he didn't. I didn't sign for Man United. I think I loved living in Leeds too much at the time."

  • Willian says Chelsea renewal 'very difficult' amid exit talk Willian says Chelsea renewal 'very difficult' amid exit talk

    Chelsea star Willian believes it will be "very difficult" to sign a new contract as he heads for a Stamford Bridge exit.

    Willian is out of contract at the end of June and his future is unclear amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the Premier League season suspended.

    The 31-year-old, who arrived from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, wants a three-year deal but Chelsea have been unwilling to meet his demands.

    Linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona previously, Willian told Fox Sports Brasil show Expendiente Futebol: "Everyone knows my contract is up in a few months and it looks like it'll be very difficult to secure an extension.

    "I think it's unlikely that I'll renew because Chelsea offered me a two-year deal, I asked for three and it ended there.

    "There were no more talks or negotiations. Chelsea said that three years would be impossible, so at the moment it seems unlikely that I'll extend, but nothing is impossible.

    "We don't know what might happen. We might suddenly reach an agreement, but what I can say today is that my contract is up and I'll be free to negotiate with any club."

    "I've built something fantastic at Chelsea," he added.  "I'm especially fond of the fans and the people that work there, and I've felt very settled."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.