Spurs’ form has been in decline since the manager’s book hit the shelves, but he doesn’t see a link between the two
Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions his recently released book is a contributing factor to Tottenham’s faltering form.
Spurs found themselves firmly in the Premier League title race and playing with a swagger after a dominant 3-1 Champions League win over European kings Real Madrid at the start of this month came on the heels of thrashing Liverpool 4-1.
Around the same time, Pochettino’s book titled Brave New World — a collaboration with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague that documents the 2016-17 season at Spurs — came out in the shops.
In the weeks following the unforgettable encounter with Madrid, Tottenham’s performances and results have tailed off, with Tuesday’s 2-1 reverse at Leicester City leaving them with a solitary win from the past five Premier League outings.
“When the book appeared — different quotes about my book — we beat Real Madrid and Liverpool and we had unbelievable results,” said Pochettino ahead of Saturday’s trip to Watford, which his side will enter in seventh place, 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.
“First of all, I want to say thank you to the people that write this story because it’s more publicity for my book. We are going to help more people because all the money is going to charity.
“Thank you for this, in this period that is coming up to Christmas, we can help more people if we sell more books.”
Pochettino was similarly keen to reject any notion of this being his most difficult period since taking charge of Tottenham in 2014, using their consistently excellent Champions League showings as evidence all is not lost.
“No, no, no. Look, we finished first in the Champions League group, beating Real Madrid, which was historic for the club,” he said. “Then [Spurs beat Borussia] Dortmund and APOEL.
“It’s a long way to the end of the season. It’s true that in the last few game we struggled a little bit to get a good result but it’s normal for every team — they struggle [at some stage] in the 10 months of competition.”
Pochettino added: “Now I am calm and it’s normal. My responsibility is to change the dynamic with the players, accept everything that the people say, the same as when you praise us when we beat Liverpool or Real Madrid in big games.
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“The balance is the most important. I trust the players, the players trust in the club and us in the job we are doing.
“It’s a bad period but we need to work hard to change the dynamic.”
Harry Winks is back in contention to face Watford after recovering from illness, although fellow midfielder Victor Wanyama (knee) and defender Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) remain sidelined.