Spurs fans will hope players come out fighting vs Arsenal – just like Poch did

first_imgTOTTENHAM fans will hope their idols come out fighting in tomorrow’s North London derby like Mauricio Pochettino did yesterday.It has been a close season of concern, confusion and contradiction at Spurs, caused mainly — it has to be said — by their manager’s at times baffling behaviour and comments.3 Mauricio Pochettino was in combative mood before the North London derbyCredit: Getty – ContributorBut yesterday he finally played a pre-match press conference with a straight bat.At least it appeared to be, because you are never quite sure with Poch. He is as slippery as an eel.There have been many occasions when he has been asked whether speculation about his future was kosher or not.But instead of a straight no, which would have blown any story out of the water, he preferred to keep us — and most importantly chairman Daniel Levy — dangling by remaining non-committal.Among his replies have been “I do not respond to rumours”, “in football, all is possible” and “who can say what is going to happen in the future?”.Media regulars at Tottenham’s training ground have heard them all before. But this one seemed different.Not because it was ahead of a trip to their biggest rivals Arsenal. But because of the rumours that had built up like an Amazonian forest inferno before.Reports he would be quitting his job after the Sunday showdown at the Emirates had spread like wildfire this week from social media into mainstream news.Bookies even stopped taking bets on him resigning, believing it to be a foregone conclusion, not to mention a fantastic PR opportunity.Pochettino, linked last season with vacancies at Manchester United and Real Madrid, said before his team’s Champions League semi-final against Ajax that if he went on to lift Europe’s elite trophy he would leave Spurs.We are in the business of football and it takes one negative result to create a rumour.Poch on exit rumoursThat and a previous failure to rule himself out of bigger opportunities elsewhere meant there was always a perception that he is unlikely to spend the rest of his career at the Tottenham helm.Especially after a disappointing transfer window in which Levy failed to deliver the signings and sales he expected.But it seems Pochettino is able to cast doubts over his own future but not anybody else.And when he strode into the auditorium at Tottenham’s training ground it was clear he meant business. This time there were no ambiguous answers or replies that were left open for interpretation.When a reporter remarked to him he had started firmly on the front foot, he said: “Always we try.”Hmm.Poch, whose team were beaten 1-0 at home to Newcastle on Sunday, then added: “The problem is how it can affect things.“We are in the business of football and it takes one negative result to create a rumour like has happened in this case.3“After the North London derby, I’m going to walk away? What a stupid rumour. It’s nonsense.“Of course there can be other rumours but this one goes too far.“I am optimistic. When we are training, when we prepare the games, of course you can work in a sad environment, you can work if you are not optimistic, but you cannot work if you are negative.“You can ask the staff, ask the players so you know how we are working. I am pushing more.“Every time we are in a difficult period, the only way to change this type of situation and results is to work harder than the day before.“We never lose focus. We never lose the power to push the player, to make them believe, to help their performance and be positive.”Blimey. In truth, any negativity lingering at Tottenham — after undoubtedly one of the greatest seasons in their history — has been sparked by Poch himself.Nobody asked him if he would quit if he won in Madrid. Nobody asked him if he was a coach or manager. Nobody asked him to bench Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen.Anybody in and around Tottenham will tell you something is not quite right.If it were, why would Pochettino and his No 2 Jesus Perez have gone out for a clear-the-air dinner on Thursday night with Levy and another unnamed board member.Poch said: “There were no personal intentions.3Latest Football newsSILVA’S GOLDEN GIRLModel Ines Tomaz has been helping Bernardo Silva through quarantineGossipCROWD RETURNFA Cup final ‘may see 20,000 at Wembley in trial allowing some fans at games’CommentPHIL THOMASDiving and whining was never a good look and will seem worse after lockdownExclusive’I’M IN A BAD WAY’Ex-England star Kenny Sansom talks for first time since being attackedExclusiveBOURNE AGAINHowe says Cherries are stronger after lockdown with FIVE fit-again starsExclusiveSWAN THAT GOT AWAYSwansea wanted £3m Davies three years ago but couldn’t get work permitNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticBAYERN 5 DUSSELDORF 0Lewa bags two as Bayern thump rivals to close on 8th straight titleACCA WITH LADBROKES Pick up a whole load of acca features to help you land the big one“It was always trying to help the club, help the team, that is our principle objective. It was good to listen to Daniel that we are on the same page, that is the most important.”Asked who picked up the tab, Poch joked: “I don’t know because when the bill arrives we go.“Jesus says I need to go to the toilet and I say I have a call from my wife.”Tottenham boss Pochettino denies ‘stupid rumours’ he is going to quit after Arsenal clashlast_img

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