Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino in a rage as West Brom sink slack Tottenham

Tottenham 0-1 West Brom

By Simon Peach

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino was angered by his side's lack of passion in a poor display which saw West Brom end their winless start to the campaign.

Life at the Spurs helm could not have begun any better for the former Argentina international, but that four-match winning start has since been replaced by a run of four games without a victory in all competitions.

The latest frustration came against West Brom, who started the day without a win at the bottom of the table yet left White Hart Lane deserved 1-0 victors.

James Morrison's header proved the difference in the Baggies' first Premier League victory under Alan Irvine against a Spurs side looking toothless, sloppy and ponderous throughout.

"The beginning of the game was wrong," a clearly agitated Pochettino said. "We were very slow, we moved the ball very slow, there was a slow tempo. In football, you need to play quick.

"I am angry or disappointed – I don't know the best word to show my feelings.

"During the game, the team looked very nervous. I think the result is not fair because I think a draw is, if you analyse the game."

Pochettino refused to blame Thursday's Europa League trip to Partizan Belgrade for the disappointing performance in a match he admitted he needed to "fix" their toothlessness in front of goal.

Spurs managed just one shot on target and looked flaky at the back, with the players not showing the same passion their manager did on the touchline.

"This is my surprise," Pochettino said when it was suggested his players were subdued. "I think we need to show more.

"Maybe West Brom arrived to White Hart Lane with only two points and last in the table, but we need to show respect. I believe that we were wrong in our way and we played very slow, there was a lack of movement. You need to play football that is aggressive."

There were no such problems for West Brom, who fully deserved their win after a performance that belied their lowly position.

Joleon Lescott would have capped a fine debut with a first-half goal was it not for an unfortunate block by team-mate Craig Dawson, who should have won a penalty after his header was handled by Emmanuel Adebayor.

Hugo Lloris was also tested on a number of occasions but West Brom were not to be denied a first league win under Irvine.

Eyebrows were raised when the Scot was named Pepe Mel's successor in the summer, with the Baggies' alarming start to the season exacerbating fans' concerns.

"Watching Match of the Day last night, the table didn't look very nice," Irvine said of the pressure.

"When you've got a game in hand, it does not necessarily mean you're going to get the points from that game, especially when you are coming to White Hart Lane.

"I suppose I would be lying if I said there wasn't an element of relief, but the over-riding emotion is one of real pleasure for the players, for the club as a whole, everybody involved and, of course, for our fans. I am more pleased than relieved."

Belfast Telegraph


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