Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham Pre-Season Pressure


With the first three pre-season games of our North American Tour over, Mauricio Pochettino has only two games left to finalise his chosen team to face West Ham on 16th August.

In the three games against Seattle, Toronto and Chicago, we have seen a mixture of youth and experience but still managed to go unbeaten with 7 of our World Cup performers not playing a part. We also saw the strongly applauded pressuring style that Mauricio Pochettino has used to make the matches entertaining and exciting games with the skill and display relatable to the attacking football preferred today.

In the three matches, Mauricio Pochettino used either the 4-2-3-1 formation or variants of a 4-3-3 formation to allow his style of play a stage to perform. It also allowed our attack to become a fluid piece of equipment that could open up the opposition with as little as one or two passes and one that could easily bang in rebounds back into the box if the first attack was unsuccessful. This style of play is what Tottenham fans have been yearning for and Pochettino must chose the right team to present this or else West Ham will be marking a fourth consecutive victory over us.

My Team For Mauricio Pochettino

Below is my Team of the Tour – which includes the players who performed the best in North America:

Pre-season Tour Team for Mauricio Pochettino


Starting with defence, the back 4 displayed above, remained strong and encouraging throughout with promising youth team member Milos Veljkovic looking comfortable and confident with experienced counterpart Younes Kaboul. Even though these two were at fault for the third goal against Seattle, I believe they tried their best to adapt to Pochettino’s structure and were precise when passing out from the back.

Our new signing Ben Davies looked immediately comfortable in left-back and crossed in various good balls whilst putting in a very strong defensive shift. With the news that Danny Rose has just signed a new 5 year deal, Davies will face some competition for first-choice left-back but I believe he is superior to the heavily criticised Rose, who still may surprise us.

The two Kyles, Naughton and Walker were playing in the right-back position during the tour and the one who shone brightest for me had to be Naughton. He always looked strong and confident on the ball and covered the flank, in my opinion, better than  Walker did. However, Walker had just returned from injury and still looked good so even though Naughton impressed over the tour, I still believe Walker should be our first-choice right-back because of his immense pace and ability to be on the attack and then back in defence in a matter of seconds. Considering this, I do think Walker needs to improve his attitude during matches as he needs to show what he is capable of  to impress our new manager.


Etienne Capoue had a shaky and injury filled first season at White Hart Lane and was hard to spot during our game against Seattle Sounders. However, in the final two games, Capoue played fantastic in his defensive midfield position and always looked ready to tackle anyone on the offensive. With reports that Morgan Schneiderlin may be staying at Southampton, I believe that if Capoue keeps up this strong mental attitude he may have a decisive part to play under Pochettino’s plans.

Holtby. Lewis Holtby. A fan-favourite among us Lilywhites for his passion, determination and massive grin that he displays every time he is interviewed or photographed. Holtby was fantastic throughout this tour and scored a peach of a header to start a season of (hopefully) many goals. He also gifted Harry Kane his first goal of the season after he showed his hunger for victory and stole the ball off the Chicago defence.

However, Holtby has been rumoured to be on the radar of many clubs and, after his loan at Fulham last season, Lewis could be leaving White Hart Lane permanently during this transfer window. Holtby, in my opinion, is something that we are missing. He is the energy of our team and never has a negative attitude. Should we loan him out for another season? This I do not know but what I do know is that there is still room in this modern age of football for a player like Lewis Holtby.

Now onto our attacking midfield trio. I chose Lennon because of how quickly he adapted to style of play expected by Mauricio Pochettino and how he utilised this in getting his goal after a sublime ball from Soldado. However, Lennon isn’t getting any younger and I think it’s time he was replaced. My favoured choice was quite far-fetched in being Antoine Greizmann but whatever little rumours that was based on are now gone as the Frenchman is an Atlético Madrid player. However, the likes of Dutchman Memphis Depay and Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez are also very appetising and could fill the gap that Lennon used to fill.

More from Tottenham News

Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen will be our star players this season. Eriksen was the only signing last season to make an impact and I hope Lamela can continue to show us what he can do and set the Premier League alight.

With 2 goals under Lamela’s belt in pre-season, we can only hope our record £30m signing does not disappoint and brings home the glory we have  been demanding.

With Eriksen’s best position being centrally, Lamela may be in contention for this spot also but I believe that Mauricio Pochettino will get them working together to provide service for each other and whoever our striker may be.


Soldado. Penaldo. Criticised last year due to his ability to apparently only be able to score from the spot and with 2 goals from open play last season, Roberto Soldado will need to improve and repeat his La Liga record if he wants to have any hope of staying beyond next season. However, what most people seem to miss when Soldado plays is his ability to pass the ball and somehow perform miraculous touches which almost always lead to something. For example, in the Seattle game, Soldado pulled off a wonderful touch in the box to win him a penalty which he coolly converted. He also received little service last season but whilst I cannot make excuses for some of his head-scratching misses, I can say that Soldado has the ability to be a top player for Tottenham Hotspur and it is make or break this season for him to prove it.