Mauricio Pochettino is doing his best to keep expectations realistic at Tottenham Hotspur, but perhaps his latest comments are a little too close to the bone for decision makers at the club to hear.
The Argentine coach was brutally honest as Spurs continue to come up short in their hunt for a first piece of silverware since 2008.
Speaking ahead of their FA Cup clash at Crystal Palace Sunday, and after their agonizing League Cup semifinal defeat to Chelsea on penalty kicks on Thursday, Pochettino discussed the stadium move coming at a time when he believed they were ready to win trophies.
“When Arsenal moved [to Emirates Stadium], people talked about massive problems, they are still paying, but Tottenham, with no history of winning … Our glory, I watch the [pre-match] video about the glory, it’s with Nicholson. It’s black and white,” Pochettino said. “I watch it nearly every week and to create again that feeling, you need time. Four or five years, that’s nothing in the history of the club. The problem is you want to put Tottenham in a level when they are still not there. It is completely unfair to charge the club like you would Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea. We still need to finish our stadium. We need to create the basis to win.”
Tell us how you really feel, Mauricio…
He has a point, especially about the stadium deal which has seen them play at Wembley for nearly two seasons now (due to unexpected delays) and the money the club has spent on building their fantastic new home has led to a lack of funds available for transfers.
The narrative around Spurs is that they have to win the Premier League or at least the League Cup or FA Cup to prove that Pochettino’s time in north London has been successful.
He clearly believes they are still a long way from challenging the big boys.
Pochettino added: “Remember, we were unbeaten in the Premier League at White Hart Lane in our last season there. Nobody said what it meant to move to Wembley to create another project and not only this – we were going to play only one season at Wembley and now it’s nearly two seasons and no one says nothing.”
It appears the Argentine coach is getting a bit fed up of everyone questioning his achievements at Spurs. He has every right to be a little miffed as Tottenham have now finished in the top four in each of the last three seasons and have reached the League Cup final and semifinal and two FA Cup semifinals in his five campaigns in charge.
Of course, none of that produces trophies but Pochettino is correct to tell everyone to calm down a little. Given the money they’ve spent and the size of their squad, Pochettino’s team have overachieved, once again, this season.