Mauricio Pochettino raises doubts over Tottenham future after falling short in FA Cup semi-final once again
Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that he may not stay around to deliver Tottenham Hotspur their first trophy in a decade after losing to Manchester United at Wembley, the second consecutive FA Cup semi-final defeat from a winning position in two years.
Dele Alli gave Spurs the lead within ten minutes but they were beaten by goals in either half from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera, prompting Pochettino to hint at his own future saying that “to create that [success] doesn’t take a few years, Tottenham needs more time - with me or another [manager].”
Pochettino, contracted until 2021, had earlier made the same point to broadcaster beIN Sports saying: “To compete in this type of game, I think we are ready to compete - but win is different. The most important [thing] is that we are in this process, that after four years we can compete and that is fantastic.
“But the disappointment and frustration is that we are close but we cannot reach. I told your colleague before that with me or another coaching staff the club needs to push on, working in this direction and will be fantastic one day for Tottenham to reach the same level as the clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City. But a long way to work to arrive at this next level.”
Alli said that Tottenham Hotspur had let themselves down with and that the club could not keep “throwing away” the chance to win the first trophy of the Pochettino era.
Alli told the BBC: "We let ourselves down, it's very disappointing. We have to try and pick ourselves up and finish the season strongly. You can't go 1-0 up and then 2-1 down against a team like Manchester United. We can't put ourselves in that situation.
"We were dominant from the first minute and it only looked to be going one way. Everyone talks. We want to win trophies, we have the staff that want to win. We can't keep doing this. We can't throw it away. We have got to improve.”
Pochettino was more optimistic saying that in certain games Spurs could compete with the much greater wealth of the two Manchester clubs. He said: “The most difficult thing in football is to be realistic because no-one wants to be realistic. But at some point you need to be. If we believe in that process, in that way that we are working it will be so easy to face teams like City and United. We are able to win. Some games you can do it. But most of the game you are going to struggle to compete.
“But that is the way we have decided to go and Tottenham is a completely different club to the others. And we are in the process in the last four years, there was the challenge to try to be competitive in the top four. We have been there and competitive but to win a trophy is not easy.”
Jose Mourinho said he believed his side were always in control, and challenged his players to compete at the same level every game. “We lost against Spurs and we lost against Chelsea and City in the Premier League too but the players need to educate themselves, of course with a little bit of my help,” he said. “They have to educate themselves to face every game with the same mentality.
“If in the cups you can say ‘big game, I’m here’ then in the championship every game means three points. We lost some points that we shouldn’t have.”