Tottenham’s Champions League campaign was over almost as quickly as it began.
Having essentially been handed a pass to the knockout stages with one of the easiest possible groups, Spurs have managed one win, one draw, and three losses.
It wasn’t long before furious Lilywhites fans took to Twitter, with many of them berating Mauricio Pochettino for failing to take the competition seriously.
I'm a big fan of Poch but to come straight out with we need to add quality is poor form. Desire and effort are free
— Paul O Keefe (@pokeefe1) November 22, 2016
Interesting thing is that Redknapp had a better record in virtually every comp than Poch yet the former get's slated and sacked #spursy
— e-Spurs (@e_spurs) November 22, 2016
Janssen – £18 mill for 3 pens
Nkoudou – 3 months of negotiating to not play him
Wanyama – decent signing
Lopez – who
Sissoko – fuck off
— Steve Belsham (@Bevlar90) November 22, 2016
you can't sanction the 30m purchase of moussa freaking sissoko and then lament about the lack of quality players in your side #pochettino
— joel dias (@thejoeld) November 23, 2016
Pochettino's whinges about lack of quality are undermined a bit by the fact he left our comfortably our best centre half & right back out.
— Mark Pipe (@Pipey78) November 23, 2016
This was, after all, their return to the highest European stage following a six-year exodus, but it failed to live up to the highs they enjoyed in the run under Harry Redknapp in 2010/2011.
Pochettino was quick to blame the strength of his squad following their embarrassment in Monaco, in which they stayed level after Harry Kane’s equaliser for all of 37 seconds.
“It is good for us to learn from this for the future if we are going to be in the Champions League next season and try to compete in that and the Premier League, maybe we need to make changes,” he said, via Sky Sports.
“It was a good challenge for us to show the real level. It’s true after two-and-a-half years we closed the gap between the top clubs. But to be competitive in the Champions League and Premier League we need to show more – and maybe to add real quality.”
It’s clear the Argentine is alluding to the fact that he wants to bring in more top players, but the harsh reality is that Spurs didn’t do that when they had the chance in the summer.
Instead of opting for £25million Georginio Wijnaldum, they ended up panic-buying Moussa Sissoko – who once again struggled to make an impact when he came on – for £30million.
Spurs now have little time to regroup before they face Chelsea at the weekend, and Pochettino needs them to put a run together in the league to make up for what has been an abysmal showing in Europe.