Date: 6th January 2019 at 1:07pm
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Article written by Jod:

I don’t generally pay much attention to the post match interviews after games. But after the Tranmere game I was interested in both Pochettino and Harry Redknapp’s comments.

Poch was making the point that he didn’t want to stifle the development of the academy players by bringing players in for the sake of it. Harry was saying that you would have to be a really good player to get into this Spurs squad, the kind of player teams wouldn’t want to sell and would cost a lot of money.

Against Tranmere you saw Skipp, at 18 years old, playing well for the whole match in the Dier role, with a sublime pass to set up Llorente’s hat trick. A couple of other young players had made cameo appearances by the end of the game.

Once people complained about Levy not signing players like Berahino. Then, realising how stupid that made them look, they started complaining about Levy not signing men with no names. The reality is that for us to sign anyone he needs to be a really good player. The kind of player that is likely to cost more than we can afford. So we get around the problem by developing players, either through the academy or brought in young.

I can’t really see that changing.

The positive is judging by his comments it’s the way Poch wants to manage. So maybe United isn’t as attractive as their fans like to think.


74 Replies to “This Is Where We Are And This Is How Poch Wants To Manage”

  • This is not new. I watch all of Poch’s pressers and read his interviews and this is old news dating nearly 6-8 months ago.

  • That is why we will never win the title, we do not have the financial ambition of City and Liverpool. Levy won’t pay the wages.

  • Thank you for the article, jod.

    You have touched on it yet again. A question that you frequently ask VS posters. And that is: Name a player. Any player you would like to see at Spurs that is better or as good as any one that we already have, that we could realistically be in the market for. I always think it a fair question…

    Invariably there are not many (if any) suggestions. And, if the question is responded to it’s often either as an insult to you or some belligerent and banal comment like; “Isn’t that what we pay the scouts for?” Or, “How should I know. I’m no expert!”

    And yet so many, if not most of us, do indeed have opinions on every other aspect of how the club should be run and how the football should be managed. From who should play at left-wing back to at what precise minute of the game they should be substituted and who they should be substituted for. (And that’s before kick-off and/or before the line-up is even known.)

    There are always adamant opinions on who should be sold and funnily, who we should definitely NOT buy to replace them. So and so is great! No! So and so, is rubbish! There are opinions on everything and everyone…

    There will always be determined arguments that will suggest that supporters really do know better than even the likes of Redknapp and MP.

    Everyone’s an expert, and a know-it-all! Myself, you and even Joey (the highly opinionated) Lily-white and Yiddish talking parrot! Until perhaps it comes to asking a simple and very basic footballing question. And rather than simply say, “I don’t know.” It’s, “Why should i know?”

    The thing is all we can see and say for sure is that Spurs are currently this or that today, at this minute in time… (We’re third in the PL/Into the next round of 3 cup competitions… Harry has scored this many goals, etc)… The rest is always just biased or unbiased opinion, (subjective/objective), supposition, conjecture, speculation or gossip, glass half full, glass half empty. No glass at all! Or… whatever!

    At the end of the day, I will trust Pochettino’s, Levy’s and even Danny Rose’s version of events, more so than i do my own. As a mere supporter and spectator, from the outside, looking in.

    And, at the start of the next day, we can all delude ourselves as supporters that our opinions really do matter. But the sad and cynical truth of it is… that it’s mostly just hot air and bull!

    But who really cares? We all have the right to be an “expert” one day and (as it may suit us), a complete and utterly ignorant fool, another day…

    As you were… And, UP, UP, UP THE SPURS!

    By the way, I’m a bit weird i think in all of this… I much prefer to see some of our young players being brought through from the academy, than I do watching the club take a punt on older and expensive outsiders.

    But then again, I aint no scout, am I!

    • Sorry jod but I think there’s an element of my country right or wrong in what you say. As fans I think we do have a right to call the management out if we think they are wrong. Some of us have been involved in football (albeit just watching) for much longer than Poch & co and in that time you can learn quite a few things about what makes a team successful or not. If what we say is just dismissed as hot air by the management team that does not make it right. As I’ve said here before the fans do know what they are talking about sometimes ( e.g. the need for pace in our front line and giving our players sufficient rest in a crowded schedule. I’m not saying that he who pays the money (mostly us) should call the tune (as happens in other areas) but I think our views should at least be taken into account even if they are not acted upon in most cases.

  • That’s exactly how it is, jod. It’s the way we operate and it’s unlikely to change for some time. MP’s happy, Levy is happy, and I’m happy. When something works, don’t fix it.

  • All true. My only concern is if we start to lose our best players for financial reasons (toby, Eriksen). Apart from Walker we haven’t sold anyone we didn’t want to since Poch arrived. If that were to change I could see Poch getting frstrated.

  • Good article jod. I was also thinking the other day, that if Poch does like to bring through youth, Spurs is the club to be at. Neither Man Utd or Real Madrid will be as accommodating as we’ve been, in allowing Poch to make decisions such as playing Foyth in an important London Derby away to Arsenal.

  • I have also heard poch saying that if you want to be a top club you have keep improving your team and squad with quality players.balance is the key I suppose , realistically the academy can not be expected to produce top players every year because it just won’t JOD would please explain to me what exactly we can afford to spend???i suppose if you only have a budget of 30 million well then you will get sweet f what’s our budget jod ??your obviously doing the books for Daniel . I can’t give you players if I don’t know my budget on transfer fees and wages for a club in the top 4 ???im hoping for some serious cash to be released now.not peanuts all you get is monkeys.cant wait for reply Daniel ooh sorry It’s JOD.

  • Good observation, Jod. Great points, Hot Tottingham.
    I will comment the following basis understanding (A) we all love Spurs and want glory and (B) extending some elements of organizational behaviour into Spurs team building :
    1. Our opinions are only a source of satisfaction to ourselves. Poch/Levy take their own decisions, and in them I trust – except its one of the pleasures and privileges of a fan to voice their opinion in the company of other fans.
    2. Clearly we are on our best patch in the EPL, possibly the best since the glory days in the early ’60s – being consistently in top 4 (this season, God willing, will be the 4th time in a row).
    3. Silverware is important to fans, players and the coach, and even to ENIC, since silverware translates into superior brand, more fan bases, and into better sponsor deals (ask Leicester and ManU).
    4. We can be a contender (top 4, cup semis) but to be a winner we need to go beyond Academy. Example, Skipp, Winks, Amos, Marsh (and, hopefully, in the future, Eyoma, Tashan Oakley Boothe, Paris, Parrot, etc) will come through and add to squad depth. If we are lucky, some of them, will become real stars, just as Kane and Alli (I know he is not Academy) have become. But they will not do so this year or the next. So we need a judicious mix of Academy investment and transfers. We need some players with a differential impact to take us to next level.
    5. We have done well with Bale and Alli in the past. I fear we have missed Jaden Sancho and Maddison – 2 of the great talents in recent times. Our scouting and recruitment for early talent spotting needs to improve.
    6. At times we have to splurge. Splurging to retain Eriksen and get either Frenkie de Jong or Tanguy N’Dombele is indicated. If we need to hurry folks like Vorm, Janssen, N’Koudou, Llorente, Wanyama, Dembele through the doors to make space and free up funds, so be it, even if on some we take a loss. Adding, Dembele has been a brilliant servant (its just that Wanyama and him have hit such a point of no return on injuries), Llorente is a very good player, its just that he does not fit into Poch’s playing style.

  • Another element is the whole home-grown thing with our squad and submitting a full list. Any addition needs to really be English home-grown or a direct replacement, which is why you see us and others over-bid for the likes of Berhaino, Barkley and Drinkwater. Would have liked to have seen Barkley come off, but I’m glad we didn’t sign Berahino. Hopefully more kids will come through and shine as much as Winks has!

  • I think it will have to change eventually if we are serious about challenging for the title and CL, as for where we are were and where we are now, this approach is fine but as expectations rise, signing those better players will be needed. As for Berahino, noone knows how that would have turned out if MP signed him when he wanted him.

  • The thing is, nobody can come to the definitive conclusion that “this is how MP wants to manage”. He understands that he doesn’t really have a choice, so by default, he pragmatically tries to make the best out of the situation.

    That’s not to say that as a PL manager, if the club handed him a 300 million transfer budget, that wouldn’t make his life easier or that he wouldn’t enjoy bringing world class players into his team.

    Also the argument that “it’s difficult to improve on this squad” is made weaker by the fact that this squad hasn’t won anything. If you’re winning, you’re always right. If you’re not winning, that invites second guessing, which is only fair.

    I think most fans will readily admit that the squads of some of our rivals are better and deeper overall. The real debate here is not so much whether we can make the squad better, because the answer is that we can. The real debate is whether we can afford to, which is a different question altogether.

    Our spending (or lack thereof) has been debated for years on VS. Some will blindly trust Levy and his expertise, while others will point to Deloitte reports highlighting that we are in the bottom 5 in the PL when it comes to spending, based on what we earn (the famed “wages to revenues” ratio calculated by Deloitte).

    Not only do we generate less revenues than our rivals, we also choose to dedicate a lot less of it than our rivals. Deloitte qualifies anything under 60% of revenues as prudent, yet we struggle to surpass 50% most years. That 10% may not revolutionise where we stand in world football but could easily finance the extensions of key players such as Eriksen and Alderweireld.

    The question is “are we really doing our best”, based on what we earn (even if we want to remain “prudent” by Deloitte’s definition)? I think that’s fair to ask.

  • Guyver – “Neither Man Utd or Real Madrid will be as accommodating as we’ve been, in allowing Poch to make decisions such as playing Foyth in an important London Derby away to Arsenal.”

    I think that clubs like Man U and Real Madrid have track records of their own of playing young players (the class of 92 at Man U, and later players like Rashford, Shaw, McTominay etc; the likes of Casillas, Ramos, Carvajal, Asensio etc at Real).

    If you’re good enough, you’re old enough – that seems to be valid at any club.

    But the biggest question is that would MP even be in that situation (ie having to play an academy player in an important game)? You call it “freedom” to do so, but it could just as well be a necessity due to lack of depth. In fact, one could argue that at those big clubs, there usually is no shortage of senior players at any position, so the decision to play a young player at those clubs probably is more a choice than the consequence of a need.

    I am not disputing the fact that we are as good a club as any at promoting youth, but again, is that merely because MP doesn’t really have an alternative?

  • Pauric – Your rant would be easier to read if you used proper punctuation. Not sure why you think you can’t buy players without a massive budget, Ali £5m, Dier £4m, Trippier £3.8m. Any of that sound familiar ? Also not clear why you think the budget determines who you scout. If you think a player would improve our squad then just say so, it would make a refreshing change from the men with no names. You obviously won’t know what the club he currently plays for would actually ask for him. Even Spurs wouldn’t know that unless they opened negotiations.

  • BelgianSpur – The latest Deloittes figures I’ve got relate to 2016/17, if you’ve got later ones let me know where to get them. The figures I’ve got show we spent 42% of our revenue on players wages. However only Chelsea in the top six actually spent the 60% you quoted. Both United and Arsenal were under 50%. The figures I’ve got show income of £306m. So paying a player £100k a week more (ie £5m a year) would be about 1.6% of total revenue. Whether that would be significant would depend on whether or not we were running a surplus or a deficit. The key question however is how many other players would be demanding a pay rise. One thing they teach you in management theory is that people don’t just look at the amount they earn, they compare it to what their colleagues are earning. Its all pretty futile anyway. If another club has significantly more money than you they can always pay more and outbid you in the transfer market. If you spend more of your money on wages they can do the same. Or, if they think you are doing a Leeds, just watch you crash and burn. Maybe its the ex auditor in me but I really never trust number free finance.

  • Jod….an excellent article, very well written, having just read all the post replies I found most “true true” but some other’s “I am not so sure”, so an interesting read never the less, thank you. COYS

  • BelgianSpur you misrepresent what I said (as usual). I didn’t say Real Madrid or Man Utd will not, under any circumstances, allow MP to play youth, I said, they wouldn’t be AS ACCOMMODATING as we (Spurs) have been. They wouldn’t be as lenient or tolerant. Real Madrid and Man Utd will expect an immediate return on their immense investment, which doesn’t allow room for “as much” creativity, experimentation or youth development. Something MP appears to enjoy.

  • Regardless of the Deloittes figures, or what Levy or anyone else says for that matter, there is a £1billion stadium that needs to be paid off. That is inevitably going to have an impact on transfers and wages for the foreseeable future.

  • Guyver – sorry if I misunderstood you (or you failed to express things clearly enough?). As with any job, there are advantages and disadvantages with Man U’s or RM’s managerial positions.

    While there would be increased pressure at those clubs, the manager would also have more resources to achieve goals.

    There is no objective way of saying whether MP would relish those increased expectations or loathe them. I’ts just speculation and personal opinion.

    As for the stadium, you hit it on the head. Regardless of what anyone says, the stadium has to be paid off. But I just find it incredibly misleading of the chairman of our club, of all people, won’t be transparent about it.

  • MP has just had a couple of really interesting (and in my opinion, honest – finally) quotes about how we operate (

    “If we want to win titles we need to operate in a different way. At the moment we operate in the same way as five years ago when we arrived. Maybe we can win some titles but it is going to be a tough job to do because in that situation every club in the last five years was improving a lot.

    “I saw a stat that in the last 10 years we were bottom of the spending list in Europe. We are doing a fantastic job but if we want to be real contenders we need to operate in a different way in the future.”

    If there was any reason to believe that MP likes the club’s current operating model, the question to ask is how long he will enjoy it?

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