Since Harry Kane’s injury in mid-September, Vincent Janssen has been the man to lead Spurs’ front line, and while he’s done quite well for himself, he’s managed only one goal thus far — a penalty against League One side Gillingham in the EFL Cup. It’s the kind of thing that might concern for anyone involved with the club, but one very important person isn’t particularly worried: Mauricio Pochettino.
In a press conference prior to this weekend’s match against Bournemouth, Pochettino spoke at length about the Dutchman’s struggles in his first months in England. On whether Janssen was struggling to settle in, Pochettino emphasized the importance of time.
Always we need to give time. He’s young, he’s come in from the Netherlands and always the players that come from outside need time.
Pochettino continued, never underselling how satisfied he and his staff are with Janssen’s efforts thus far.
He’s a striker that brings to the team different characteristics but I am happy with his behaviour, his professionalism and how he is playing. It’s true that we would be more happy if he scores, he would be too, but it’s a normal process. The most important thing is always to focus, try to improve and work hard. That is the best way to start to score in the game and for that we can only give time. It always happens in football but we are very happy with him.
The Argentine then agreed that the forward was unlucky in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen when one shot hit the crossbar and another was disallowed, but again, went back to his emphasis on time.
Yes, it happened sometimes in some periods with Harry and now with Janssen it’s the same. He’s a very good professional, he works very hard every day to try to score and play well. We are very happy with him. It’s only a natural process that he needs to go through and that is not a problem. He’s a good player, he was the top scorer in the Netherlands and we have no doubt about his quality.
Pochettino also discussed how Janssen himself is handling the scoring drought, noting that the player wants to prove his quality, but is in high spirits nonetheless.
Not frustration, more disappointment because a striker always likes to score and always it seems incomplete – if you play well but as a striker you don’t score it’s like there’s something missing, but he is happy and he wants to show that he has the quality to score. Maybe he puts a lot of pressure on himself but in the end we need to keep him calm and say ‘yes, good, don’t worry, work hard, keep going and be sure that you will score’.
Spurs’ coaching staff clearly has a lot of patience and belief placed in Janssen, and from his performances at training and on the field, he’s seemingly earned it. Only a month into his mostly full-time starting gig, Janssen’s done a great job adjusting to the Premier League, and the confidence his coach has given him can only help as he looks to score his first Premier League goal.