Yes, Mauricio Pochettino is an elite manager. And yes, Tottenham needs to sack Mauricio Pochettino.
These two things don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
The fact that Spurs achieved a draw today at home to Watford, the 20th team in the table, shouldn’t overshadow the larger problem. On the heels of yet another embarrassing showing, Spurs may need to make the uncomfortable decision and get rid of their elite manager.
Tottenham lucky to draw Watford 1-1
Watford should’ve won this game. They had their chances.
Watford didn’t have a player today who can finish a sentence. Quique Sánchez Flores needs to line his squad up old school style in a single-file line and just shoot at the goal in practice all week. That was rec league quality finishing. They were also very unlucky, with two VAR decisions going against them.
Regardless, Watford looked the better side moving forward for all but the final 10 minutes today. Watford, who started the day at the bottom of the table. Watford, who started the day with a -16 goal differential and were playing Spurs AWAY. Look at the shot chart. Note that about half of those Spurs chances came in the final 10 minutes.
The understat timing chart shows how Watford were the steadier club in creating chances over the course of 90 minutes.
Other than Son Heung-min (constant threat) and an occasional burst from Harry Winks, Spurs were lifeless. Spurs were out-hustled. At home. To Watford.
Yes, that falls on the player’s shoulders. But it also falls on Poch, who has clearly lost the ability to inspire his side.
This is only amplified when you look at Spurs’ contemporaries today who are also challenging for Champions League qualification.
Leicester went down at home early to Burnley. Brendan Rodgers got the Foxes to dig deep and pull out a 2-1 win.
Chelsea were 0-0 at home late against Newcastle. Frank Lampard subbed in Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic and boom, goal and 1-0 win.
Poch simply isn’t pulling those strings and inspiring those responses. Spurs did manage to pull a draw out today thanks to one moment of semi-brilliance from Dele Alli. However, for 75-80 minutes, Spurs were DOA.
The burst Spurs showed at the end was more a display of how unorganized they are. They were not composed. Alli was fortunate that his goal wasn’t ruled a handball. The entire squad’s frustration showed at the end as they nearly started a brawl. With Watford. At home.
This isn’t an aberration
Spurs have been poor domestically all of 2019. They’re a literal last second comeback against Ajax in the UCL semis from this “Should Poch really be sacked?” conversation from being more of a “POCH SHOULD BE SACKED!” conversation.
Sometimes managers lose their way with a squad. It happens to the best of them.
Spurs should move on. They have the talent to still finish top 4.
Poch should move on. He’ll be the #1 choice of every major club looking for a new manager (we’re looking at you, Manchester United).
Not all divorces are a bad thing.