Tottenham’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal may have felt like a loss, but how they handle the disappointment could shape the rest of their season.
The draw was a huge blow to the Lilywhites’ title hopes, with leaders Leicester the only real winners of Saturday’s early kick-off.
How mature are Pochettino's starlets?
It is easy to say that Pochettino’s young players are mature considering their average age, but it will be a challenge for the boss to pick them up from this one, after drilling into them the importance of the fixture
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However mature they may appear, for many of them, the end of this season marks a key stage in their development.
They must learn to pick themselves up from disappointing results, particularly ones such as the Arsenal one, which are far from catastrophic. With nine games left to play, some have suggested Spurs are cracking. The more setbacks they endure, the more the pressure is likely to crank up, but they must not see the derby as game over in their pursuit of Leicester.
It is Pochettino’s job to help his players regroup, but it is also down to the more experienced heads in the dressing room. If Arsenal are often criticised for not having enough leaders, Spurs need to show that they can outdo them in that area.
Spurs pick themselves up
On the other hand, Pochettino must be firm. Rather than err on the side of caution and praise his side for how far they have come this season, he must ensure that his side still believe they can go on and win the title.
There is no doubting that Tottenham have come a long way, and there is no greater evidence than that Arsenal were so happy to take a point down the Seven Sisters road. The kind of mentality, suggested by some fans, that they should be pleased no matter what the outcome of this season is, will be a helpful mantra once the season is over. With it all still to play for, however, Tottenham must not be satisfied with the kind of mediocrity that saw them lose their lead against the ten-man Gunners.
"Always to believe"
According to Pochettino, “Tottenham’s mentality is always to believe”. His side certainly talk the talk, but his youngsters must be able to translate that belief into every game as three points every week become a must.
Can Pochettino lift his players and push for the title? Comment YOUR views below