Talking Point: What is causing Pochettino's Spurs blues?

Mauricio Pochettino is more unhappy than at any point during his Tottenham reign, but what is causing his dark mood?

Mauricio Pochettino pictured during the Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven at Wembley Stadium in London.   -  AFP

Mauricio Pochettino recently revealed he feels worse than at any point since he took over at Tottenham Hotspur in 2014, despite leading Spurs to one of its best Premier League starts.

Only in the 2011-12 campaign has Spurs amassed more than its 24 points after 11 games this term, so why is the Argentine feeling so glum?

Away from domestic action, the club has struggled in the Champions League and its long-awaited move to a new stadium has been delayed.

We use Opta data to dig a little deeper into Tottenham's Premier League form to see what the underlying causes of Pochettino's unhappiness could be.


Only in Pochettino's first season in charge – the 2014-15 campaign – has Spurs posed less of a goal threat.

Its 1.73 goals per game so far this campaign is significantly down on the last three seasons, while its shots per game is the lowest it has been under his stewardship.

Harry Kane has not been his prolific best after a gruelling World Cup campaign with England but has still contributed six goals. Pochettino's concern will lay elsewhere, with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min failing to reach anywhere near the levels fans have become accustomed to.

The trio contributed 31 goals in the Premier League last time out but have scored just one goal between them so far this campaign – Alli's strike in the opening day win over Newcastle United.


Hugo Lloris has come under criticism this season after a number of high-profile mistakes, but the World Cup winner appears to have contributed to a surprisingly resolute Spurs rearguard.

You must go back to Pochettino's first season in charge to find a more generous side – that team's 12.9 shots faced per game marginally higher than this season's 12.6.

The expected goals [xG] against it this season is a whopping 1.33 – more than 0.35 higher than at any other point over the past three seasons.

Despite this, it has its second-best goals conceded per game figure under the former Southampton boss – 0.91.

That is likely to be down to a combination of Lloris, his understudy Michel Vorm and some wayward finishing from the opposition. Still, it is easy to see why Pochettino might be less than impressed with his soft-centred side.


The thrilling 3-2 win over Wolves at the weekend means that Tottenham has now recorded its second-best start to a Premier League campaign with eight wins in its opening 11 games.

That gives it a higher win percentage than at any point during Pochettino’'s time in charge and a points per game total of 2.18, marginally down on 2016-17's high of 2.26.

If it can claim maximum points against Crystal Palace on Saturday and other results go in its favour, it could find themselves just two points off the Premier League summit. That might lift the clouds hanging over Pochettino.

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