Mauricio Pochettino has condemned the football calendar again as “crazy” as he prepares to say goodbye to most of his Tottenham first team squad for another international break. Pochettino is working hard to get his players up to speed and was frustrated after the 1-1 draw with Liverpool that he will not see many of them again for another 10 days.
Spurs’ draw meant that they have taken five points from their first three games and Pochettino still feels they are “a bit behind” where they should be in terms of fitness. This is why he is frustrated at another impairment to trying to get all his players to the top level.
“It is very difficult,” Pochettino said afterwards, “we need time, maybe a few months, to put all the players on the same level. It is crazy that we stop again our competition, to be again involved with the national teams. I am not complaining, but we have 60, 70 per cent of our squad on international duties, and it makes it very difficult for us.”
Pochettino was proud of the way his players forced their way back into a game which Liverpool dominated in the first half. “We needed to change our game-plan when Kyle Walker went off,” Pochettino explained, “A little bit of the problem was the organisation when that happened. But in the second half we increased our level and our performance was much better. We competed a lot, and you have to do that. The effort and character was fantastic.”
Although Harry Kane struggled for impact, and was taken off in the second half, Pochettino pointed to how he did not score for 10 games last season then still won the golden boot. “It is a good signal,” he said. “I would sign for that to happen again.”
Jurgen Klopp hopes that Liverpool can build on a performance that was far better than their 2-0 defeat at Burnely, and which might have earned them the three points. “I still feel disappointed that we took a point, when we played like this,” Klopp said. “We had plenty of chances, which says a lot. This showed against what we can do, how we can play. Not only about pressing, we were really flexible in our offensive defending, and had wonderful moments with passing. This is what we have to show in each game.”
Klopp was pleased with how many chances Liverpool created, even if they lacked efficiency in taking them. “You need to have these situations,” he said. “Of course they know they should score. You don’t win a game against Tottenham by four or five, they are a really good defending team. It is difficult to create one chance, and we had a few. That is a good sign. This is what we have to take for our future, for the analysis, when we meet again in 10 days time. This is our base and we have to build on it.”