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Pochettino hints at player “agendas” after Tottenham loss at Colchester

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It sure sounds like there are some issues in the locker room at work.

Colchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The fallout continues to rain down after Tottenham Hotspur’s ignominious exit at League 2 Colchester in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino made no excuses for his team’s performance — though he could have, with three players 20 or younger playing, and two making their competitive Spurs debuts.

What should’ve been a press conference talking about the performances of Troy Parrott, Japhet Tanganga, and Oliver Skipp turned into a post-mortem after Spurs couldn’t find a way past Colchester’s defense and lost 0-0 (5-3) on penalties. Pochettino continued to hint that his squad is “unsettled” after the close of the transfer windows, and also seemed to hint that more changes are likely in January as he continues to work at a refresh of his team.

“When you have an unsettled squad always it’s difficult and you lose time and then you need time to recover the time you lose. That’s where we are. Maybe our performances are good but you need this extra, which is mental, connection, it’s energy to be all together, not to have different agendas in the squad. We need time again to build that togetherness that you need when you are competing at this level.

“Look, I am only telling you how I feel. We are working so hard to try and put on the same page. We need time, we are going to have time to fix that. January is going to be a good opportunity to try and fix this type of situation and sort it. Then the next transfer window, again. That’s the problem when something happens and you cannot control – this type of situation can arrive. I’m more than happy to be in that situation, it means we are human. To keep the successful period in football you need to be different every single season and act differently and find different solution. Maybe we need to do something different and we are trying to find the way to start to perform and get the results we expect.”

Poch’s comments about the January window seem a bit ominous, for a couple of reasons. First, because it implies that he still doesn’t have the squad that he wants to have after this summer’s transfer dealings, but also there’s a strong implication that there are still players (or personalities?) at the club that he wishes had been sold. We don’t know who those players are, but we can guess. It does suggest that Spurs could have an unusually active window in a couple of months under a manager who generally dislikes bringing in players mid-year.

Meanwhile, Ben Davies has apologized to Tottenham supporters and to Pochettino for the way Spurs played against Colchester last night.

“It’s horrible - it’s a trophy, a good chance to pick something up and we’ve let it slip at the first hurdle. The manager didn’t need to say anything afterwards. In the dressing room, we were all as disappointed as him. We let him down, we let the club down.

“We weren’t terrible. We just didn’t seem to click, didn’t put anything together. We have to win these games. We have to show we’re a better side than this. It’s a tough feeling right now.

“We just have to apologize to the supporters, too. We let them down. They travel with us everywhere and they’re first-class. We need everyone behind us now to help us push on through this difficult time.”

Davies won the League Cup in 2013 while playing for Swansea, so he understands the importance of winning silverware. I’ve always thought the trope of professional athletes apologizing to fans after a loss is a little overwrought, especially after a shock defeat in the “lesser cup” with a rotated side, but it is fan service and it often is appreciated by the most ardent of supporters. Davies’ comments appear to be heartfelt, and I hope it helps.

The mood of the fanbase, especially on social media, is nigh apocalyptic right now, but even with this run of bad form the perception of the club isn’t anything that a few wins can’t change. Spurs will get that opportunity on Saturday vs. Southampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.