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Mauricio Pochettino taking inspiration from Marcelo Bielsa to rejuvenate misfiring Spurs

Explosive Mauricio Pochettino: Bayern horror reminds Tottenham boss of day Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa pulled out a grenade!

  • Mauricio Pochettino has had to regroup his players following their 7-2 defeat
  • Tale of Leeds boss threatening to pull pin on grenade as he sifted for positives 
  • Pochettino has backed Dele Alli after his omission from the England squad 

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino returned to his native Argentina and a tale of Marcelo Bielsa threatening to pull the pin on a grenade as he sifted for positives in the wreckage of a seven-goal Bayern Munich thrashing.

Pochettino was a teenager playing for Bielsa at Newell’s Old Boys in February 1992 when they were beaten 6-0 by San Lorenzo in a Copa Libertadores tie.

‘It was really, really, painful,’ said Pochettino. ‘Similar to Bayern Munich.’

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has had to regroup his players after a heavy defeat

Spurs were hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night

Spurs were hammered 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night

Legend has it angry Newell’s fans reacted by marching on Bielsa’s home, where they were confronted by the man now in charge of Leeds United, standing on the doorstep with a grenade in his hand.

He told them if they did not leave he would pull the pin and throw it at them, before he chased them down the road. Bielsa’s team went on to win the Clausura title and reached the final of the Copa Libertadores where they were only beaten by Sao Paulo on penalties.

‘In six months, we changed completely the perception,’ said Pochettino. ‘I remember Bielsa talking to us individually and talking to the collective, making changes and slowly turning around the situation. That is the most important thing.

Spurs boss (centre) worked with Marcelo Bielsa at Newell's Old Boys and the Argentina team

Spurs boss (centre) worked with Marcelo Bielsa at Newell’s Old Boys and the Argentina team

‘We need to be clever and learn from this. But we will have to do it in a different way. That was 27 years ago. This is a different era.’

No grenades, then. No threats. No over-reaction.

That was the message from the Tottenham camp and the manager pointed out his team had played their best football of the season during a half-hour spell in the first half against Bayern. ‘We lost 7-2, but we were always alive,’ said Pochettino. ‘The last 10 minutes was a massive hit for us and left us very disappointed. But the performance was very good. One bad result is not going to change our plans. We are so strong in our mentality and ideas.’

Tottenham have been misfiring. They were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Colchester United of League Two. They have not won away in the Premier League since January and face another awkward away fixture at Brighton today with Serge Aurier banned after his red card against Southampton last weekend.

Pochettino, however, fiercely rejected theories that his players — three of them in the final year of their contracts — were no longer playing for him or that he might be looking for a way out.

‘Three days before (the Bayern defeat) they beat Southampton with 10 men,’ he said. ‘They are committed whether they have four years or one year left on their contracts. No doubt.

Pochettino has backed Dele Alli after the star was omitted from the latest England squad

Pochettino has backed Dele Alli after the star was omitted from the latest England squad

‘I am not happy with this type of result. I am responsible for the situation of the team. I cannot escape or run away like a kid. You need to behave like a man, be the leader the team needs.

‘In five-and-a-half years we talk about my future in every single press conference. And we are still talking. I hope that means I spend five years more at least.’

The Spurs boss also backed Dele Alli to reclaim his England place after his omission from Gareth Southgate’s latest squad.

‘Dele is focused on trying to recover his best,’ said Pochettino. ‘He only needs time. For different reasons he is below his best but he is going to be an important player for the club this season.

‘Two weeks working here is going to be good for him to improve.

‘He is still 23 years old. Very young. I have no doubt he is going to be at his best again.’

 

 



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