Spurs boss Pochettino backs Erik Lamela to shine in fluid attacking system
PUBLISHED: 22:30 07 August 2014
Mauricio Pochettino believes his countryman Erik Lamela is ready to show his true colours this season as part of a fluid attacking system.
Lamela has caught the eye in Spurs’ pre-season campaign, scoring twice in the first half against Toronto and then coming off the bench to find the net against Celtic on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Argentine has largely been playing as a No10 in the warm-up games but his latest goal came when he picked the ball up on the right flank and drove infield – and Pochettino says that “freer style” will be a theme of his reign at White Hart Lane.
“You know Erik Lamela and we know him from Argentina and Italy,” he said. “But he is still young and the Premier League is the most difficult league to play in - the style, the language and to adapt. But now after one year at Tottenham we think and we believe that Erik is ready to show his quality.
“Will he play as a No10 or out wide? It depends on the situation. My philosophy is to give a freer style with a good organisation - but not only with Erik, with other players.
“They are unbelievable players, creating a different action on the ball. The most important thing is to create good organisation and a good shape for our players to be comfortable in and to show their real qualities.
“My challenge is not only Érik Lamela but all players - to get the best football match and get the best skill and desire to use for the team.”
Pochettino will take charge of his first match at White Hart Lane on Saturday when Spurs host Schalke in their final pre-season friendly, and he said: “For me it’s an honour to be head coach of Tottenham.
“It’s a club [that’s set up] for achieving things and being successful. The club wants to achieve something, the club is ambitious and it has great facilities - I think it’s the best in the world, the training ground, yes it’s true.
“It’s difficult to find another facility like Tottenham have, and we have great supporters, great fans, not only in London but around the world, as we saw in America. It’s all the elements for big success.
“I am ambitious too. Now we are starting to develop our style and our philosophy, and the most important thing is to believe in that.
“I knew the players but when you arrive somewhere you feel the players, you start to see them in a different way. It’s true that some players in certain situations surprise you, but I am very pleased with all of them. We have unbelievable players and this is important to achieve something.”
It is unclear whether club captain Michael Dawson will be a part of Spurs’ future under Pochettino, but the new boss has no intention of choosing a new skipper at this stage.
“For me it’s not a problem to choose the captain,” he said. “Michael Dawson is here and he’s the captain, there’s nothing to talk about.”
Pochettino used a translator during his media engagements at Southampton, but he has been speaking to journalists in English since arriving at Tottenham – and he is keen to continue in that vein as much as possible.
“I’ve never had a problem with my communication with the players,” he said. “All of it was good. It’s different when you speak in public and in private. I’m more nervous now [speaking to you]!
“Now it’s good, my communication - and I’m lucky because my assistant, Jesus [Perez], has very good English and helps me every time. He’s always close to me.
“In the future I want to speak with you [in English]. But I always remember Bobby Robson or [David] Beckham in Spain. It was very difficult to start to speak in English in front of the media and they always used the translator.
“But, for me, it’s about respect for you and our fans. I have a lot of thoughts in my mind, in my head, and it’s difficult to explain to you in another language that is not Spanish.
“Sometimes my English seems poor and it’s difficult to explain in the way that I want, and it’s for that that I used the translator in Southampton. At times it’s possible Jesus or other people will help me in the press conference.”
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