Pochettino realises that the way to turn Tottenham into winners is to have a better team
Credit to the Poch, the penny appears to have finally dropped. There is only one way Tottenham Hotspur will ever shake off the tag of ‘bottlers’ and that is to actually win something. And to win something Tottenham Hotspur need a better football team. So, the cunning Argentine has decided that it is time to move on some of his underachievers. With Jose Mourinho looking to follow Pep Guardiola’s transfer blueprint of overspending on fullbacks, Poch is likely to send Danny Rose to Manchester in return for an inflated amount of cash. Jose might get two for the price of four if Daniel Levy can convince Mr Ed to overpay for Toby Alderweireld as well. Also lurking near the exit, waiting to see what happens next, are the midfield duo of Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama who have gone from being ‘feared’ to ‘free to leave’ in the matter of half-a-season.
I have to say, that was the worst start to a job interview I have ever seen by Diego Simeone last night. That said, leaving with a 1-1 draw when you had ten men for 80 minutes tells me that it ended better than it started and he might have caught the eye of the Arsenal board. Atletico showed the mental toughness that has been long missing at the Emirates and the wares of a street fighter that left North London when Patrick Vieira headed to Serie A. Arsenal, as ever, were pleasing on the eye but had absolutely zero killer instinct. It was hard not to imagine David Beckham having a little smirk when Simeone exploded after about 15 minutes, revenge is sweet after what, 20 years?
Liverpool reckon they can build a Premier League winning team by simply plucking wingers from Serie A and turning them into goal machines. The experiment with Mo Salah has been so successful that Kloppo is keen on Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa for £40m. I am not convinced this will work as well, however, as the theme to be amazing in the Premier League is to have been booted out by Jose, recovered in Germany or Italy and then come back. If I was Klopp I’d be looking at Memphis Depay as he fits this bill (I think, or did Louis Van Gaal get rid) or even Adnan Januzaj. OK, I am joking on the last one.
Claude Puel might have made a decent start to life at Leicester City, but these facts do not lie – 4 wins in the last 17 as manager. And the players hate him. Maybe they are on to something, maybe he should get the boot? Leicester also spent £80m in the summer so they probably would expect to be doing a little better. I mean, they could argue that even Everton spent their money better. No, no. That’s just crazy. Either way, Puel is on the way out which will open the door for either a Nigel Pearson type or a Marco Silva type.
One thing Mark Hughes needs right now is ‘altercations’ with his players. Sparky is winless in the league at St Mary’s and clueless in the league at St Mary’s so banishing Soufiane Boufal to the dark place of the stadium where he is not allowed to play with his friends anymore is a curious decision. Apparently, Hughes and Boufal fell out after the Chelsea defeat in the league where Southampton threw away a two-goal lead to lose. Boufal wasn’t in the squad that day, so I’d love to know what he actually said that prompted Sparky, allegedly, to throw a water bottle at him. In the meantime, Hughes has called for “focus” which I think everyone is capable of at Southampton – they are focusing on what it is going to be like playing Ipswich Town next season.