Not for the first time, Mauricio Pochettino made some thinly veiled comments directed at Daniel Levy once the curtain came down on Spurs’ season on Sunday. A few weeks ago, the Argentine questioned his own future at the club, as if he couldn’t achieve all he wants to in North London. This time, he was more direct, essentially demanding signings. Big ones.
Pochettino said after the whirlwind 5-4 win over Leicester City at the weekend that he is “100%” committed to the task at Spurs, but raised the possibility that there might be a disagreement at boardroom level over the way forward for the club. ”We are going to talk next week to create the new project,” he said. “It is a little bit up to Daniel and the club to agree with us.”
Spurs find themselves at a juncture in the Pochettino project. There can be no doubting the progress they have made under the Argentine, with the club now established at Champions League level, finishing in the top four for the third successive season. They are capable of competing at the top of the English game.
But more will be expected of Pochettino’s side next season. This season, they treaded water somewhat. They didn’t regress, but no great progress was made, at least in the Premier League. To make that next step Spurs will need to spend big in the transfer market. At least, that’s Pochettino’s view.
“If we want to be real contenders for big trophies, we need to review a little bit the thing,” he explained on Sunday. “We need to create dreams that will be possible to achieve. Maybe we are a bit disappointed and frustrated because now we are close [to trophies].
“I think Daniel is going to listen to me, of course. You need to be brave. Being brave is the most important thing and take risks. I think it’s a moment that the club needs to take risks and tries to work, if possible, harder than the previous season to be competitive again, because every season will be more difficult. It’s not only the big clubs. The clubs in behind us like Everton, West Ham or Leicester – they are working so hard to be close to the top six.”
The problem for Pochettino is that Spurs might be financially restricted by the construction of their new stadium, which they will move into next season. The Argentine could find that he faces the same sort of situation Arsene Wenger was up against for years as Arsenal manager following the move to the Emirates Stadium.
Spurs might not have the financial wiggle room at the moment to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United for the best players in the transfer market, much to Pochettino’s disgruntlement. He might have to accept where the club is at the moment and how they continue to build for the long term. That might be difficult for him to swallow.
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