Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Crystal Palace – Reaction
MAURICIO POCHETTINO suggested that his Spurs side was looking a little more like their old selves after witnessing a first-half blitz to blow away Crystal Palace at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
A brace from Heung-Min Son, couple with one from Erik Lamela and a Patrick Van Aanholt own-goal confirmed Tottenham’s first Premier League victory in three attempts – the Argentine insisting minds were now very much focused on the job in hand as they looked to close the gap at the top of the table.
“I think it showed that the team was unsettled,” Pochettino confessed.
“When the team is unsettled when the squad is unsettled, it is so difficult to perform in the way you want to perform. I’m not complaining or blaming anyone, but it’s only that in football it’s so easy to describe the situation and the focus wasn’t on playing football and it wasn’t on trying to improve.
“The focus wasn’t on the places we wanted it and it’s not easy to perform that way.”
The Spurs boss continued: “Of course, we have quality, enough to win games without focus. But when you are focused it showed – in that first half the performance of the team – the intensity, the concentration.
“We know what we need to do and when you are able to do that the quality we have appears. We have tremendous quality in our squad, unbelievable players.
“If we show that intensity in all our games, for sure, we are going to fight for big things. I am so happy to recover that feeling. We all needed it but now it’s to keep pushing. This is the first step of the season.
“With this match, we have seven games in twenty-one days and all are going to have the possibility to play and we are going to rotate in different games. That is the most important thing. We are going to give the chance to all the players to play and show their quality and fight for their place.”
Meanwhile, Palace boss, Roy Hodgson offered an honest response when asked whether it was a case of Spurs being too good or Palace falling short.
“I suppose the truth is a combination of both,” the one-time England chief explained.
“We are obviously unhappy with our first-half performance. All of us, manager, coaching staff and players are prepared to accept the responsibility for that. It wasn’t as good a start to the game as we hoped and we didn’t show the intensity I hoped we would, but I don’t want to take too much away from Tottenham during that spell because they played very well.”
Hodgson continued: “The quality of their passing and movement was excellent and of course they scored good goals during that period. It wasn’t purely us not being anywhere near the standard we set and it certainly was the case of Tottenham coming out and playing extremely well and asking a lot of questions of our defence.”