Spurs boss Pochettino says he got his tactics wrong


Soccer Football - Champions League Semi Final First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur v Ajax Amsterdam ...
Soccer Football - Champions League Semi Final First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur v Ajax Amsterdam - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - April 30, 2019 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag before the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

In Summary

  • Mauricio Pochettino admitted he got his tactics wrong in Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final
  • Slicker and sharper than their hosts, Ajax's crop of talented youngsters pinned Spurs back during an utterly dominant opening 30 minutes where Pochettino had set his team up in a 5-3-2 formation

Mauricio Pochettino admitted he got his tactics wrong in Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Slicker and sharper than their hosts, Ajax’s crop of talented youngsters pinned Spurs back during an utterly dominant opening 30 minutes where Pochettino had set his team up in a 5-3-2 formation.

Ajax were able to find space in midfield and got their deserved goal when Donny van de Beek netted a priceless away goal.

“Watching now of course I can accept it was a mistake the shape we used,” Pochettino told BT Sport.

“But there were not too many options. I am not happy – you cannot guess what happens if we play in a different way. But our lack of energy and [we were] a little sloppy.

“It was the not the shape that conceded the goal. Our approach to the game was not good. I am the manager so I have responsibility.”

A head injury to Jan Vertonghen forced the Spurs boss to change things before the break, allowing for the introduction of Moussa Sissoko to beef up the midfield and switch to a 4-4-2.

Spurs looked a different side, finding more opportunities to force Ajax back, although they failed to produce the quality in the final third to score an equaliser.

“After we conceded the goal – 25 to 30 minutes in – we started to be in the game,” said Pochettino.

“When Moussa Sissoko was in, he provided good energy and we played better.

“Second half we pushed them deeper and pressed in a way we wanted to press. The second half gives us hope for the second leg.”

‘Poch will learn from this’

Former Premier League defender Liam Rosenior speaking on The Debate: “What would Mauricio Pochettino have learned? Not to play 3-5-2 against Ajax! As soon as they changed to a diamond, they pressed Ajax higher up the pitch.

“Being 1-0 down is difficult – Ajax have some incredible young players – but Pochettino will have learned some tactical lessons. And having Heung-Min Son back will be huge because Ajax leave big spaces in behind.”

-Report by skysports 

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