Mauricio Pochettino has revealed the reason why he brought out of favour Toby Alderweireld back into the first team for Saturday’s defeat to West Brom – because he felt his team needed a change following a recent slump in form.
The Argentinian lamented his side’s attacking shortcomings after their disappointing 1-0 loss, also confessing that a lack of aggression in the final third potentially cost his side a win. But he told Football.London following the game that he was looking for consistency, and that a change in system and Alderweireld’s introduction could have changed that.
“I think the last few performances wasn’t great,” he said. “I think we need more consistency and then to try to find with our full-backs to go forward and stay wide. I am happy because I think the system worked. But I think today to play with one or another system is not the key. I think the key is to be more aggressive. I think the team played well.
“Maybe some details [can improve] but to be clinical in front of goal is our challenge, because I think this type of game, with the chances, possession, the possibility to play in the last third or in the opposite, half, we need to create more – more one v ones, be more aggressive, run forward in behind their defence.
“I think we played like ‘ok, next action we are going to [score]. If we don’t score, ok, next, next next’.
“We dominated, but if we analyse the game we deserve much more.
“But in football it’s not only about to deserve, it’s to be aggressive in defending and aggressive with the right attitude when you go forward with the ball. It’s another way to score from the beginning. I think the team, we missed a little bit to be more aggressive with the ball.
“It was difficult to play, they played so deep. We didn’t create enough chances. Maybe we created more than them but we are a team that need to create more chance to have the capacity to score.”
Pochettino also provided a brief injury update regarding Tottenham’s central defender, Jan Vertoghen, adding: “He twisted his ankle. We need to assess him tomorrow. We’ll see.”