Pochettino’s impossible conundrum

Pochettino has a hard choice to make


Today marks the start of four days that will define Spurs’ season and Mauricio Pochettino’s first year in charge. With a finely balanced Europa league tie tonight and the League Cup final just days later, picking the team is not going to be an easy task.

If Pochettino selects a weakened side in Florence and we get knocked out, he’ll get blamed. If he picks a strong team tonight and Spurs lose on Sunday, he’ll get pilloried.

The Europa League has the allure of a Champions League place at it’s end but that is still a long way off and the clear priority has to be Sunday. If the games were the other way round it would be much easier – pick the best eleven then see how things go – but unfortunately we don’t have that luxury.

What a shame we didn’t make more of our first half dominance last Thursday, then team selection could have been a moot point.

For me the best strategy is go half and half against Fiorentina. Rest key players, pick a second string side but sprinkle in three or four first-teamers who aren’t vital and don’t need the rest. Throw in the reasonably proficient fringe players – Stambouli, Paulinho, Soldado, Davies.

The key players would obviously include Eriksen and Kane. Probably Chadli too after the great game he had against Chelsea in the league. Maybe add Bentaleb to that list.

Early indications suggest Pochettino isn’t going for a complete second string team. With outcasts Kaboul, Capoue and Adebayor not even travelling to Italy, everything points to a fairly strong side tonight. At least we have no injury problems, a testament to the manager’s training methods and rotation earlier in the season.


The goalkeeping situation presents an interesting dilemma. Hugo Lloris is clearly the better keeper but Vorm has played in previous rounds. It was a surprise that such a proficient keeper with a comfortable position at Swansea wanted to come and be a backup and there are rumours this was in part helped by a gentleman’s agreement that Vorm gets to play in cup games.

Despite that, facing Chelsea at Wembley we have to go with our best eleven – so Lloris has to play. I would field Vorm against Fiorentina and Lloris against Chelsea.

Whatever Pochettino decides let’s all get behind the team and hope for two victories and some silverware. Come on you Spurs!

Follow me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs

Would you rest players against Fiorentina? What should be the focus, the Europa League or the Capital One Cup? Let me know your opinions in the comments below.



5 thoughts on “Pochettino’s impossible conundrum


    One match at a time but both are equally important and we must win both. We must have our best eleven for that return match tonight and Lloris should play as we should not concede any goal.

  2. Kevin

    Now that we have lost against Fiorentina and that Lloris played in that game, i wonder who Poch will choose for the cup final… I certainly do not envy him. I would prefer to have the frenchman between the post but would also praise him for sticking with Vorm and being loyal to the player. It’s only a matter of time (and money) before Lloris leave and when/if that happens, we need someone reliable to take over and Vorm is the perfect man.

    As for the final, the key area will be the midfield battle. With Matic and Obi Mikel out, it will be interesting to see how Chelsea cope with it and how we will take advantage of that.

    1. JOHN ADAM

      We were poor last night, quite slow with the ball right throughout whereas Fiorentina were much faster on their feet. Why do we keep making those stupid, individual defensive errors that cost us games? It has been so in all these past games since our great victory over Arsenal and this is why we have not won any game since. Our passes are not good, much too loose and inaccurate, and we keep giving the ball away. We shall not win against Chelsea, fast in attack, if we play in this careless manner.

    2. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      One of the reasons we did so well against Chelsea on New Year’s day was their lack of cover in midfield – Matic played with Fabregas and needed more help. So the fact their two best defensive midfielders are out makes me a bit more optimistic.


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