Stats: Pochettino struggling to improve Spurs' pressing play

Tottenham WHL

Opta stats indicate that the Tottenham boss, as of yet, hasn't managed to improve his side's fortunes when it comes to harrying the opposition.

When Mauricio Pochettino took over at Spurs, lots of people thought, and Tottenham fans hoped, that it would be an easy adjustment for their club to adopt the pressing tactics the 42-year-old employed at former club Southampton.

However, a quick look at Opta data from the last few seasons show that it hasn't come as easily as expected.

Naturally, it would be unfair to judge Pochettino after just eight league games, and there have been encouraging signs against the sides that have given Spurs problems in recent seasons, notably away to Arsenal and at times against Manchester City.

The Argentine has maintained that bringing his philosophy to the club is the most important goal for Spurs right now in these early months, and that makes perfect sense, but it will be some surprise to see that Tottenham are actually posting poorer statistics when it comes to winning back possession than they managed last season, despite splitting that season between two sacked managers.

Tottenham 2014/15 Premier League

  Poss Won Def 3rd / playedPoss Won Mid 3rd / playedPoss Won Att 3rd / playedBall Recovery / playedPossession Percentage / playedPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 21.63 23.38 2.75 55.63 52.00 8

Tottenham 2013/14 Premier League

  Poss Won Def 3rd / playedPoss Won Mid 3rd / playedPoss Won Att 3rd / playedBall Recovery / playedPossession Percentage / playedPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 21.97 24.47 2.97 57.82 54.39 38

Tottenham 2012/13 Premier League

  Poss Won Def 3rd / playedPoss Won Mid 3rd / playedPoss Won Att 3rd / playedBall Recovery / playedPossession Percentage / playedPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 21.55 22.92 1.79 55.34 52.63 38

As the data above shows, Spurs won possession back more often in defensive, midfield and attacking thirds more often last season than this year under Mauricio Pochettino or the 2012/13 season. In general, ball recovery and possession was also higher during 2013/14 than it has been this year.

One reason for this may be that, of Tottenham's 8 Premier League games they have had to face Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, with what should be less testing games making up a smaller percentage of their fixtures than over the course of a season.

When Spurs turn out again perceived lesser team, these statistics could swing back in the Argentine's favour. But what is clear is that Pochettino's work at Spurs was never going to be achieved with a click of the fingers, and it may be weeks or months until we begin to see significant improvements.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch