Mauricio Pochettino does not know whether he will be given the time to rebuild Tottenham after another disappointing Premier League result.
Spurs’ horrible start to the season continued as they were again sub-standard in stuttering to a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United, leaving them with just three wins from their opening 12 league games.
Pochettino has spoken at length about how the club were entering a “painful rebuild” after their run to the Champions League final last term, but no one envisaged just how painful things would be on the pitch as well as off it.
They led at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium through Son Heung-min, but George Baldock’s 78th-minute leveller earned the Blades, who also had a goal marginally ruled out by VAR, a deserved point.
Pochettino said as recently as Tuesday that he would like to see out the remaining three years of his contract, but now has hinted he might not be given that much time as the pressure increases.
“I think you can see that yes, we need to find the balance,” he said.
“We are building a team during the season, while competing in the Champions League and Premier League, the toughest league in the world, and always that is dangerous, this type of situation can happen.
“You expect better results than you get. Of course we are in a process to build and we’ll see if we have time to build what we want.”
On his side’s limp display, he added: “We are disappointed because we knew we were going to find a team who would be aggressive and very energetic, well organised.
“This is the worst opponent you can have when you come to play from Wednesday in the Champions League, a very long way.
“I am disappointed because in the moment we broke them down to go and lead 1-0 in the second half, not keeping that advantage or scoring the second goal in that moment when we dominated the game.
“We feel so disappointed, I don’t know the word to use. Upset or frustrated, but it is not a happy feeling.”
It could have been even worse as Sheffield United were denied a goal by another contentious VAR decision 129 seconds after Son’s opener.
David McGoldrick converted at the far post from Enda Stevens’ cross, but John Lundstram’s toe was ruled to be offside in the opening phase of the attack.
It was anything but clear and obvious as it took over three minutes for Jonathan Moss at Stockley Park to make the call.
Blades boss Chris Wilder is the latest manager to question the decision-making process.
“John Lundstram’s big toe is bigger than it should be,” he said. “It’s just a bit of confusion from our point of view. When is the reset?
“It’s gone down the right, John has crossed, it’s gone back out, where does it reset because we have attacked down the left-hand side.
“The length of that stoppage I think doesn’t do anybody any good, from the managers to players and, more importantly, the supporters. If it is offside, it’s offside and we have to get on with it and accept it.
“My heart sinks every time. It is here to aid referees. It affects the game, the length of time it takes, that’s the disappointing aspect of it.
“We have to have a big look at it in the summer, it is going to be here to stay, there’s no doubt about that. It is going to have to run its course.
“It seems like every press conference it is the major talking point.
“I am disappointed with that because we should be talking about how we have gone toe-to-toe with the Champions League finalists, it fills me with immense pride with how we have played.”