Mauricio Pochettino had to say SOMETHING after today's 5-1 drubbing to Newcastle at St. James' Park. And he did, giving unequivocal negative comments about his side's poor performance today in a post-match press conference. Spurs' loss not only saw them drop to third in the table on the final day of the season, but also saw them fall behind arch-rivals Arsenal in humiliating fashion, and there was no glossing over how awful the day was for everyone involved.
“It’s difficult now to analyse the season because the way that we played today. First of all I would like to apologise to our fans, our team was terrible for them.
“To our families too, I apologise, it’s difficult to go back to see your kids, your wife, your girlfriends, your dad – this wasn’t the team that played all season. It’s my worst day as a manager. Not just in England, in Spain, too.
“I don’t think it was a tactical problem or about physical conditioning. What we have said the whole season and the last few weeks is that we need to improve our mentality.
“Today we can see the problem from the beginning was that we were not ready to compete and we don’t enough quality to only try to play with the ball. We need to run, we need to give 100% and be aggressive. Today we weren’t the team we showed the whole season.”
There's so much to unpack here and I don't feel like I have reasonable tools in my current emotional toolbox to deal with it. On the one hand, after a completely humiliating performance like the ones Spurs just went through, these are the kinds of unequivocal, we-were-bad hands in the air kinds of comments you want your manager saying. There's no sugarcoating this, so Poche admitting it helps in some small measure, I guess.
On the flip side of the emotional spectrum, though, these quotes can be also absolutely infuriating and condescending. F**k your apology. Spurs just phoned in one of, if not the most important match of the season in the most humiliating way possible. Get mad! Scream and yell the way we supporters want to right now! Don't give us platitudes, flip the g*****n table.
Both reactions are equally valid and I'm not going to tell you which way you should feel. Poche is in a difficult position because there really isn't much he can say or do that will make Spurs fans feel any better about how their club performed today.
So take these comments, and do whatever it is you want to do with them. It's all we've got until late July. At least he tried, even if he's in a no-win situation.