Pochettino’s Spurs XI and two areas we need to strengthen

Pochettino tactics

Using the way Pochettino’s Southampton side was set up and the few pre-season games we have already played, we can start to piece together an idea of how the new manager’s Tottenham team might look.

The starting XI might be something like:

Pochettino's SpursTeam


Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, should fit well in the Pochettino system, sweeping up behind a high defensive line and distributing the ball accurately.

Vertonghen is a perfect match too. He is mobile, comfortable on the ball and a fairly decent stand in left back, so should be able to cover for Davies when he pushes forward.

Walker and Davies will provide the team’s width. Walker has been one of the unsung stars of the Spurs team over the years, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to a more attacking role.


Capoue will drop between the centre backs when the fullbacks push up. Despite a stop-start first season, he has the skills to both break up opposition attacks and start ours, crucial to the quick transitions Pochettino demands.

Paulinho will provide the drive in the centre as a box-to-box midfielder, helping to protect the defence but occasionally arriving late in the opposition penalty area to create overloads. If we do eventually sign Schneiderlin, this is where I see him slotting in, at the Brazilian’s expense.

Eriksen, our most creative player, can fill the number ten role, directing Spurs’ attacks from the centre.

Lamela is fast, can beat a man and loves to cut inside to shoot, so he should make the right midfield slot his own.


Soldado had a mediocre first season at White Hart Lane but has the passing skills to reinvent himself as the spearhead of the Spurs attack. He has already shown some excellent link up play with Lamela, on our North American tour.

Transfer Requirements

The question marks represent the two positions where I feel we should sign new players – centre back and left midfield.

Apart from Vertonghen, I don’t think our other central defenders have made a strong enough case for inclusion. Dawson is not mobile enough, while Kaboul is error prone and often injured. Chiriches would be the best fit, he has the skills but at present seems a little raw and naive.

My favoured target was Dejan Lovren but he has now moved to Liverpoool. Other possibilities include Toby Alderweireld, Ron Vlaar and Hector Moreno.

The left midfield spot could go to Andros Townsend but I am still unconvinced by him – his decision making is suspect. Maybe Pochettino can work his magic with the young winger or perhaps Jay Rodriguez will come in to fill this gap.

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Do you agree with this team? What would your Spurs starting XI be? Please let us know your opinion in the comments section below.


22 thoughts on “Pochettino’s Spurs XI and two areas we need to strengthen

  1. Edwhite

    Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Davies,
    Schneiderlin, Clasie,
    Lamela, Eriksen, Konoplyanka,

    1. WHL

      I’d like to see Chadli given an extended run in the left AM spot. He scored 18 goals in his last year with FC Twente and, much like the rest of last summers signings, we’ve not seen anywhere near his full potential. He’s 6′ 2”, built like a tank, fast and has an eye for goal. I don’t want to see us buy anyone except a decent CB, someone like Fabian Schar would be my preference, we need to let all of last years signings settle under a manager who actually knows what he’s doing and learn to play his system. The performances of every one of last summers acquisitions needs to be forgotten and they should all be given a clean slate to prove why they were bought in the first place. Bale & Modric were shocking when they first arrived and they turned out to be two of the best players to ever wear the shirt. There’s no point in keep buying new faces, not giving them a chance to settle, sacking the manager because they haven’t performed and then doing it all over again – It’s costing us a damn fortune.

      1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

        Totally agree that most of our Bale funded signings deserve a second chance. All seven had never played in England before and with the managerial upheavals it can’t have been easy to settle. However, I have to say Chadli is probably my least favourite.

      1. WHL

        I can see why you’d say that about Chadli but he was injured for a large part of the season under AVB and when he came back ‘Tim nice but dim’ thought it would be a good idea to play him in the middle with Dembele on the right. Good God, I’m glad that fool has gone. Like most of the signings, his confidence is probably shot to bits thanks to being called a flop for the last 12 months. I have high hopes nonetheless, after all, it couldn’t really get much worse than last year.

  2. Gudums

    Will never understand you lot who rate this dud Soldado over Adebayo. What has he ever produced for us? What a waste of money. Is there a hidden agenda?

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      I just don’t trust Adebayor to keep motivated and I don’t think he fits the more energetic, passing player Pochettino seems to favour. Soldado was poor last year but I’m willing to give him another chance. Who knows, maybe this will be Kane’s year.

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      I wanted Lukaku too but he does have his drawbacks. A proven Premier League goalscorer but maybe lacks a bit of the subtlety you need if you play against defensively minded teams.

      Not sure Chelsea would have let him come to us anyway.

  3. Michael

    From the 3 games I’ve seen of Pre season Holtby has looked out best player with Kane not far behind. I personally think Holtby over Paulinho.

    1. dabspur

      Finally someone who sees Holtbys potential.
      Walker Richards Vertonghen Davies
      Schneiderlin Holtby
      Lamela Eriksen Konoplyanko

  4. Spurserker

    Wouldn’t have Paulinho in that starting line up. Paulinho doesn’t protect the defence at all when playing as the box to box as was clear to see in all of our big games last season. Also, he doesn’t have the workrate of Dembele.

    I agree about the left side of midfield needing to be covered. Theres a load more to come from Chadli yet but I think we need a player of high class that can play there aswell as interchanging with Eriksen and Lamela. and contribute with top class passing aswell so that if either or both Lamela or Eriksen are out injured we still retain some creativity.

    Marco Reus would be a Marquee signing, and we could pay the 27m release clause to get him, but one that would almost guarantee champions league, Reus in his first season at Dortmund with Gotze on the opposite side was devastating, we can afford to offer him good wages with the extra TV money for the prem, I think we should try to get him. Failing that Isco will be wanting away from Madrid with Rodriguez coming in and could be perfect (if lacking speed a bit and needing more work on his crosses), Draxler also is a player of huge potential but is still very raw for his price tag, Jay Rodriguez could offer goals but doesn’t look hugely creative. Konoplyanka is hugely threatening but theres always the worry of the language barrier. Kevin De Bruyne could definitely offer something and is only going to get better over time.

    I’d say try our hand with Reus, Isco or De Bruyne in that order.

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      Reus would be an incredible signing, like Klinsmann all over again but I can’t see him coming when he will probably have his pick of Champions League teams. Any of the names you mention would be an exciting arrival.

    2. WHL

      Reus could walk in to any of the top sides in Europe and the likelihood that he would chose us is slim to none, with emphasis on the none. The same goes for Draxler. Also, from what I understand the buy out clause is only effective from next year which is why Dortmund are trying to get him to sign a new contract.
      Isco could be a very good shout though, he won’t get a look in at Real and it’s about time we had some benefit from our ‘partnership’ with them. I haven’t really seen De Bruyne play other than at the World Cup so I can’t say if he’s any better than what we have but from what I have seen I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if we did get him. As long as we sign a starting centre back I’ll be pretty chuffed.

  5. serious

    Adebayor will prove all the doubters wrong AGAIN and be the main man. He does work hard and he is a team player, this is why we get nowhere back the boys COYS…
    Pochettino used to do well with Ricky. Lambert Adebayor is a big upgrade lol

  6. dabspur

    Our defense is the main priority followed by our lack of goals, so a striker and LM.
    Schneiderlin is well overpriced for a position we are overloaded in and Rodriguez is injured.
    Buy Richards as CB and cover for Walker. And get another CB in incase Richards injury comes back to haunt him/us. Alderweild perfect fit as can cover RB.
    Konoplyanko is the only real talent I can see us signing for the left.
    Even though I think Soldado is class who had a very unlucky time in front of goal last season,we cud still do with someone else incase Ade goes on one again!! I think we missed our chance on Bony when the Remy deal fell through, so I would try and sign Remy ourselves, else go for unknown foreign quantity again in Destro.
    But I still think all our signings from last summer need another chance as it was a really disruptive season last yr.
    Naughton, Dawson both need to go as they just ain’t good enough!
    Walker,Richards, Vertonghen, Davies
    Sandro, Holtby
    Lamela, Eriksen, Konoplyanko
    Alderweild to cover Richards
    Richards to cover Walker
    Holtby to cover Eriksen
    Dembele to cover Holtby
    Remy or Adebayor if Soldado still don’t fire
    If we don’t sort our defense out we cud end up looking like mugs again in the big games!!!

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