Mauricio Pochettino explains Spurs’ approach to Dimitri Payet


Despite their unbeaten record, Tottenham have looked a tad predictable at times this season.

However, Mauricio Pochettino is not planning to change his tactics for the visit of West Ham on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs will be favourites as Slaven Bilic’s side continue to struggle close to the relegation zone, but the Hammers do have one big threat in the form of Dimitri Payet.

Pochettino insists his men won’t be making special arrangements for the Frenchman nonetheless – as he didn’t do the same for Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi when he was managing in La Liga with Espanyol.

“When I started as a manager and faced Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, it was never my intention to try to do something special or be focused on trying to stop this type of player. So I will not do it now,” he told reporters.

“The most important thing is for us to try to recover the ball quickly, to have the ball more than them and focus on how we need to damage our opponents.

“It’s true that when you have a type of player like Payet in front of you, the players in his zone need to be aggressive, tight, try to anticipate and not give him space to play.

“It’s true that we’re talking about that but it’s not a special mark on him.


“This is not high risk because we never play like this. In 2½ years at Tottenham we have never focused on that type of player, like Eden Hazard or David Silva, who can change a game.”

The last time the two sides met, West Ham inflicted a major dent on Tottenham’s title ambitions with a 1-0 win in the last ever game between the two at the Boleyn Ground.

The Lilywhites will be out for revenge, knowing three points could take them back into the top four, depending on results elsewhere.

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