The Spurs manager had spent all summer steaming over his side’s capitulation last season, when they went from title challengers to finishing third in what had effectively been a two-horse race with Leicester.
Spurs saw their title hopes disappear on a chaotic night at Chelsea in May, when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 amid bitterness and brawls.
Heart and spirit broken, they then lost their last two games against Southampton and Newcastle, to see bitter rivals Arsenal sneak above them into second place. And upon their return to prepare for the new season, starting with tomorrow’s match at Everton, he let his stunned players know it in no uncertain terms.
“I wanted to kill all of them. Kill myself too,” said Pochettino. “When we came back from our tour of Australia, we talked – they needed to hear my feelings, how I felt after that game and after the season. I told them, ‘If I had had the opportunity to kill you, then would have I killed everyone’.
“I’m very honest with them. They are very honest with me. They are human. After a very hard season, it was tough to manage the last few weeks.