Mauricio Pochettino is already being hailed as one of the managerial success stories of the season thanks to the way he has transformed Tottenham, but he has one flaw in particular which he must work on to avoid dropping unnecessary points.
The Argentine boss is inclined to make late substitutions, often in situations where a fresh burst of energy from the bench could be the difference between three points and one, or even none.
In the 1-1 draw away to Everton, Pochettino made his substitutions relatively late on, despite Spurs looking tired by the hour mark.
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Understandably reluctant to take off Dele Alli, he waited until the 88th minute to replace the goalscorer with Nacer Chadli, who admittedly is being edged back into games gradually as he recovers from injury.
Confidence in his starters
One positive is that he evidently has abundant confidence in his starting XI. Yet, in the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle, when Spurs conceded in injury time, he could arguably have made a change to keep his side focused.
His reluctance may stem from the 2-2 draw with Stoke earlier this season when he was heavily criticised for bringing off Harry Kane and Ryan Mason.
He is right to be wary of rotating for the sake of rotating, and particularly at the back, he appears to favour consistency.
At the same time, Pochettino should not be afraid to make use of alternatives.
In fact, Spurs’ bench is full to the brim of exciting players waiting for a more regular opportunity. Josh Onomah and Clinton N’Jie are just a couple of examples, although the latter is currently out with a knee injury.
The way the pair linked up in the 4-1 Europa League win against AS Monaco was thrilling to watch and suggested they can inject new life into a side which has a tendency to flag late on in games.
By making better use of his bench, the Tottenham boss can also prevent his side from burning out in the latter part of the season, as they have been prone to in the last few years.
While they are currently hot favourites to make the top four, it is far from a certainty yet; even a slight dip in form could see Manchester United overtake them.
Crystal Palace, are also hot on Spurs’ heels, so it is vital that they don’t drop points as the result of a simple mistake which can be easily rectified.
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