A few seasons ago, Arsenal appeared synonymous with poor management, contract issues and disgruntled players. In the midst of Wenger’s departure, Arsenal had to undo just about everything that was already in suit. Meanwhile Spurs were enjoying a good season under Pochettino with Champions League football.
"We have an unsettled group for different reasons and different personal circumstances." ?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 26, 2019
Arsenal were disjointed, carrying lots of driftwood, with a suffocating wage bill, expiring contracts and playing staff that says yes when they played or if they played at all. It was a mess and Spurs fans mocked their neighbours relentlessly.
On the other hand, Spurs had a stable, young and energetic side plus a billion pound stadium that was state of the art. The gulf between the two neighbours seemed wider than ever, with Spurs in a positive position and Arsenal appearing to be anything but.
Now, all of that seems like a figment of our imaginations as stories of unsettled players and clashes behind the scenes filter through, all seems unwell within the newly built walls of White Hart Lane.
The unseen repercussions of failure in the Champions League final against Liverpool may have impacted on Pochettino and his players.
Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld could all find themselves leaving if the right bid comes in. It’s known that Eriksen in particular is keen to move away from Spurs because of lack of silverware and it’s becoming a general feeling, as it was for Arsenal after the move to the Emirates.
Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham record in all competitions in 2019:
14 defeats in 32 games
3 wins in last 12 games
Thinking long term, is this form good enough for a team of their quality?
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) August 25, 2019
Players realised that there was no other choice but to leave if they wanted to achieve their personal goals and it’s rather ironic that this could be the case now with Spurs.
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Arsenal’s predicament went on for some time until Wenger was dismissed. Pochettino’s situation has come around significantly quicker but the outcome could end with both parties severing ties.
Pochettino braved the media today and tried his best to waffle away concerns with a Sky reporter, deflecting awkward questions but his body posture was that of a dejected soul with heavy shoulders.
Asked about the effect of the European transfer window having an unsettling influence on his side, Pochettino merely said that Spurs were trying to manage the situation but with the Premier League window now firmly shut, Spurs would not be able to replace outgoing personnel.
In my opinion, the manager has a number of immediate issues ahead of him. The board need a trophy to make Spurs more attractive to commercial investment and the players want tangible success to justify signing contract extensions. Pochettino’s side, no matter how well constructed and with all its creative flair, failed to deliver in the two major championships of last season.
Pochettino will need to dig deep and find the mental strength to continue his search for silverware at Spurs, but he may feel that he’s taken the club as far as he can – something that will come into sharp contrast should Arsenal defeat their neighbours.
Emery said that there is no bigger game this weekend and he’s absolutely right. This will at least relieve the pressure and set the standard for the coming months.
You lot thought building new stadium, constantly selling best players with limited budget is easy? We at least won few trophies struggling in that era. Spurs were in their peak three seasons ago, Pochettino wants to go, team is a mess, Spurs are finished. You love to see it
— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) August 25, 2019
You feel the tables have turned and that Arsenal have weathered the storm. There will be goals, but Arsenal with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe could add to the misery currently engulfing White Hart Lane.