In the immediate wake of Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at home, with emotions running high (or depressingly low, as it were), Mauricio Pochettino leaned into the microphones and said that no one was good enough and that no one was “safe”. Obviously, he meant it more so as that our performance (individual and collective, players and coaches) was not good enough, rather than as any ultimate judgement on the level of talent available to him. (Though he had also just got done talking about how we don’t have anyone who can take a decent set piece, except maybe Ben Chilwell, but I digress.)
But he’s taken umbrage with how those exact words were exactly reported in the media. You see, were are in fact good enough, we are smart enough, and doggone it, people are going to like us.
“Someone takes out of context, my words [...] it said, ‘Pochettino said the players were not good enough’. [But I meant that] today, or in this game, we were not good enough and that is the reality, I don’t want to hide the reality. [So] that upset me a little bit [because] I never said that.
“[...] I think we have very good group of players. [But] for different reasons, like I have explained, we are not performing in the way people expect and always when the expectation is different to the reality, it is difficult to get what you deserve.
“[We] are a team that need confidence and all of the support. The people need to realise the situation and we cannot send different messages to the people, and the people believe that things have not happened. That is why we are demanding the support to the team, to the players because we know the quality.
“The players have an amazing quality. The problem is it takes time to build a team. That is the reality we need to translate to the fans and for the fans to be patient. Of course we are going to find a way to fix. Too many things to fix before talking tactics and talking football, but we are trying to fix all of the things. Yes, as soon as possible, for sure we are going to perform and be in the position the club deserve.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
While I appreciate a good us-vs-them (i.e. The Media) mentality as much as anyone indoctrinated under José Mourinho, arguing about context is a weak approach. And Mourinho himself already showed the limits of this sort of thing in his second stint.
I do agree that the players need our support, especially this bunch who seem far too reliant on momentum (as is often the case with young players). But that’s always a sort of chicken-or-the-egg situation. Which comes first, support or success? Every supporter has their own threshold and their own limit for sticking with a team. That’s just the nature of this whole endeavor. Nothing’s given; everything has to be earned and then continue to be earned.
Pochettino added that he got a “very good text” from the owners (who certainly don’t want to see, or maybe even afford another high profile failure) and that he also cleared the air with Thiago Silva after Belle Silva’s post-match tweet.
Now he just needs to win the fans back. That might take more than just a few words.
It’s time to change. If you wait any longer it will be too late— Belle Silva (@bellesilva) February 4, 2024