Mauricio Pochettino’s non-stop Tottenham stars deserve their much-needed break after sweeping aside Red Star Belgrade
Tottenham players deserve their impromptu day off after this. Grumblings from within the Spurs squad about their non-stop schedule were, at least for a little while, forgotten on Tuesday night.
Sportsmail revealed last week that for a number of Tottenham’s internationals, last Tuesday was their first full day off since September 15.
You could hardly call it a day off either, many of Tottenham’s England contingent did not return from that emotionally-charged night in Bulgaria until around 5am.
Mauricio Pochettino saw his side return to form with victory over Red Star Belgrade
Erik Lamela celebrates after scoring in the convincing five-goal victory at home
Prior to Tuesday night the Spurs squad did not have another full scheduled day off until at least the end of the month at the earliest.
Funny how a 5-0 win changes your mind, though. ‘I said to the players, tomorrow’s a day off,’ said Pochettino.
‘I asked ‘you want a day off?’ OK, day off tomorrow!’
But as the old adage goes: hard works wins the day. Wednesday aside, it appears that is exactly what Mauricio Pochettino is banking on.
The hard graft certainly paid dividends as Tottenham swept Red Star Belgrade aside with a scintillating display that showed little sign of fatigue.
It will, however, be interesting to see if Pochettino adapts his training schedule moving forward.
Yet, perhaps those Spurs players who are longing for extra time off should be careful what they wish for.
Because if they feel like they’ve got it bad, then instead of showing them a re-run of this convincing win maybe Pochettino should show his players Patrice Evra’s performance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football as he discussed his spell at Juventus under Max Allegri – who has been linked as future Tottenham manager.
Harry Kane was on target as Spurs got their first Champions League win of the season
‘I won a lot of trophies with United but I felt like I was on holiday compared to Juventus,’ said Evra.
‘You train on the day of the game, playing for Juventus was one of the most difficult times of my life, you get one day off a month.
‘Some players vomit, and they were like keep training, they wanted me to run 12km, but in the game I’d run 9km, 10km – it was such a shock for me.’
The only team who were sick on Tuesday night, though, were Red Star as Tottenham pulverised them to take another step towards rebuilding their shattered confidence.
Speaking after Saturday’s home draw against Watford, Pochettino spoke of taking ‘little steps’ towards re-balancing their season.
A fortuitous draw against a team who are bottom of the table and and haven’t won a Premier League game since August could hardly have been deemed a step in the right direction.
This demolition of Red Star, though, certainly was. The verve, rhythm and gumption that we’ve become accustomed to looked to be re-appearing.
Of course, it’s far too early to be claiming Tottenham are back. It’s the small matter of Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Get a result there and then we’ll be talking.
The verve, rhythm and gumption looked to be re-appearing in Spurs’ game on Tuesday night