Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino was puzzled with this side’s drop in intensity against Greek side Olympiakos in the UCL on Wednesday night, claiming that his players failed to respect the plan.
It can be recalled that Spurs had to qualify from the group stages the hard way in last season’s UCL competition after picking just 1 point from their first three games. This could yet be another tricky group as they still have the likes of Bayern Munich and Crvena Zvezda to come.
After the 2 all draw game which saw the home side come from 2 goals down to level up, the Spurs boss was asked about what could have gone wrong with his side. He replied:
“I think it’s easy to explain. When we are not showing that intensity that the competition demands we struggle. We are not talking about quality. We’re talking about being focused, concentrated, aggressive, anticipating the action.
“How many times did we anticipate today? How many times we were not proactive like we were against Palace. That is a very good example in three days, it’s a massive difference. It’s not about tactics, it’s not about quality players, it’s about the quality of preparing yourself to be ready to fight.
“At this type of level you need to match the opponent in terms of intensity, aggression, in excitement and motivation and then is going to appear your quality when you are connected with the game.
“That’s the first demand you need to work with. It’s not only the responsibility of one person. It’s everyone’s responsibility and it’s not possible to, in three days, how we start the game today be a massive difference. That is my disappointment. I feel disappointed for everyone.”
“From the beginning we had a plan, we didn’t respect the plan,” Pochettino said.
“I told the players at half-time. We scored two goals but if you only analyse the performance it wasn’t great. We conceded a lot of chances to them and the first goal was so painful. We didn’t translate that type of aggression these type of games demand.”