Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham have to win a trophy this season for it to be a success.
Pochettino has delivered four successive top-four finishes in the Premier League without spending anywhere near the same sort of money as Spurs’ rivals, but his lack of silverware is often highlighted.
They came close to “touching glory” by getting to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, while they also got to the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.
Pochettino has seen Spurs spend north of £100million this summer in bringing Tanguy N’Dombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Jack Clarke to the club as chairman Daniel Levy acted on his manager’s demand to behave like a big club in the transfer market.
The Argentinian has previously said that the FA Cup and Carabao Cup are not important, but now, with a new stadium and a strong-looking squad, he knows he needs to start filling the trophy cabinet.
“My personal feeling is that starting my sixth season I need to lift a trophy,” he admitted. “Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League or Champions League.
“I am not saying it is time. I don’t want to put pressure on the team or the club.
“But if you ask me personally, this season is not about finishing in the top four to be successful – although of course maybe that matters for the club.
“But for me, it is about winning some title – the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup, the Premier League of the Champions League.
“If not, after last season’s final, to be again in the top four and reach the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, it is like, ‘Come on!’
“You are always there but you cannot touch the glory. That is personally – me. My personal target, objective, aim to be successful this season is to lift a trophy.”
Much of Pochettino’s success at Spurs has been down to his man-management and that will be put to the test with Danny Rose.
Rose was left at home while Spurs went on their pre-season tour in order to sort a move away from the club, but nothing – in this country at least – materialised.
It looks like he will be integrated back into the squad and Pochettino insists there is no issue between the two.
“In between the club, the player and the agent, things can happen,” he said. “I am going to coach the player. I don’t know what is going on between the club to take some decisions.
“You know very well, it is my sixth season that I am not involved in negotiations or in deals with the player and the agent.
“I don’t have an agent, I don’t deal with agents, I don’t deal with money. I don’t deal with anything related to that.
“I have my relationship with them (the players) and it is excellent with all the players.
“Of course, it’s not a problem. My relationship with all the players, not only with one or another who have five years or one year.
“My relationship is OK. They know clearly and the agents know how they need to proceed for different things with the club.”
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Pep Guardiola has revealed Riyad Mahrez was drug-tested this week to clear up any uncertainty over medication he was administered while on international duty.
Manchester City boss Guardiola left Algeria forward Mahrez out of his squad for the Community Shield last weekend as a precaution in case he was called for testing at Wembley.
Mahrez, 28, underwent a minor procedure to aid his breathing after helping Algeria win the Africa Cup of Nations last month. City’s medical staff did not have full details of all the treatment prior to Sunday’s game and did not think he should be risked.
But the club have now cleared up the matter and Mahrez will be available for Saturday’s Premier League opener at West Ham.
Guardiola said: “He had a little surgery after the African Cup on his nose so he could breathe better.
“It’s a normal situation (but) the doctor, not from the national team, didn’t send the necessary (information). That was the only reason why (he did not play). We didn’t have it in the right moment.
“It was a precaution, we had to be careful. It was better not to use him.
“But after the last week, anti-doping have made the test, everything is clear and everything is fine. He can play.”
Mahrez had a mixed first season at the Etihad Stadium after his then-club-record £60million move to City from Leicester in the summer of 2018.
With competition for places from the likes of Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, he struggled to command a regular place.
After this week’s news that Sane is facing a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury, however, Mahrez may get more opportunities to step up.
Guardiola said: “The quality (we get) from Leroy we don’t have it (without him). A little bit Sterling has it but the special quality of Leroy you can’t find it around the world, that attacking the space, that speed.
“Riyad has another (quality), so he’s not a substitute for Leroy.
“My opinion during the first few games, the performance of Riyad, I was quite impressed. He didn’t play too much because in his position was one of the best players in the league in Bernardo and of course Sterling.
“But with Leroy absent, we have more space and a lot of games, one less forward player, so he is going to play. The way they are training, I’ll try to let everyone play.”
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Jurgen Klopp admitted he faces a goalkeeping shortage if Alisson Becker is ruled out for a lengthy period after suffering a calf injury in Liverpool‘s opening 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday night.
Alisson had to come off in the 39th minute against the Canaries having gone down clutching his calf after slipping while playing a goal kick and, though there was no immediate verdict on how serious the problem is, Klopp did not sound optimistic.
“It’s the calf and that’s it,” the German said as he ruled the Brazilian out of facing Chelsea in the European Super Cup on Wednesday.
“He couldn’t carry on, that’s not a good sign, and we have to see. Wednesday he will not play. With all my experience I can say that already.”
Adrian, just four days after signing for the club on a free transfer, came on to make his Reds debut as Alisson hobbled off, and the 32-year-old now stands to start against Chelsea in Istanbul.
But whether Klopp is able to select a goalkeeper on the bench remains to be seen with the Reds boss admitting his options are extremely short with the other goalkeeper in the senior squad, Caoimhin Kelleher, recovering from a broken hand.
“Caoimhin is back in training but he’s not 100 per cent, we have to see how he reacts now,” he said.
“One of the younger ones is not allowed to play, he’s only 16, and the other one had an elbow injury early in the pre-season. So yeah, we’re a bit short in that position.”
However, Klopp expressed confidence in Adrian’s ability to step in for Alisson.
“He is a very confident guy,” he said. “He came in and I don’t think he wanted to only sit on the bench for the next couple of years. He made himself ready.
“So yes, it’s a situation, but if you are in a situation like this you want to have somebody who played the league, who is experienced. He’s 32, he’s a calm guy, good with his feet. So a lot of good things.”
“But you still don’t want to have a situation where (only) one goalie is fit. That’s how it is but we have to see.”
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