Mauricio Pochettino says Spurs have no doubt they are alive heading to Amsterdam for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals, but knows he made a bad bet before the 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.
Even a master tactician and make mistakes.
Pochettino defended with five at the back against clever, possession-based Ajax, and the Dutch side chewed up possession and scored an early goal through Donny van de Beek. From the BBC:
“Watching now of course I can accept it was a mistake the shape we used. But there were not too many options. I am not happy – you cannot guess what happens if we play in a different way. But our lack of energy… and a little sloppy. It was the not the shape that conceded the goal. Our approach to the game was not good. I am the manager so I have responsibility.”
Is it just as simple as that? Maybe, but Pochettino has earned his reputation as a man with a plan. That plan didn’t work out well on Tuesday in Spurs’ biggest match in ages.