Pochettino could not respond to Chelsea changes, claims club legend

Pat Nevin believes there is one weakness in Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s game.

The Spurs boss led his team to the League Cup Final, but could not overcome Chelsea, and Pat Nevin has told the official Blues website that he could not deal with Jose Mourinho’s changes.

The Blues entered the tie without first-choice defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic, leaving Kurt Zouma to start in an unfamiliar holding position. Mourinho altered his system to incorporate Zouma alongside Ramires and Cesc Fabregas - who dropped into a deeper position - and, despite not dominating, Chelsea never looked like losing.

It is this sort of Cup Final experience that makes Mourinho such a highly sought-after coach, and arguably the best manager in football at winning one-off games. Pochettino’s short career in coaching has yielded a lot of promise, but he has yet to win a trophy, and his lack of game management showed.

After going two goals behind within 10 minutes of the start of the second half, Pochettino had to try and force the issue, and made changes to his line-up, but without looking to exploit the Chelsea team. The system remained the same, and only players were brought into to alter the situation - despite the evidence that the Blues were set-up to prevent such a change.

Pochettino has proven that he is a good manager, and will likely develop into a great one in the future. However, his lack of tactical diversity was shown in the tie, and Blues legend Pat Nevin believes that it is his one key weakness, and the main reason he could not deal with Mourinho’s experience.

Quoted by the official Chelsea website, the former winger said: “Mauricio Pochettino is a very good coach, but he had no answer to Jose’s adaptations. Crucial to the thinking seemed to be to try to change the personnel, while keeping the shape quite close [to usual].”

This is a weakness that plagues many managers of the modern game, who refuse to adapt to the upcoming fixture, and continue with a system that has worked so well previously. It is something Mourinho excels at, and Spurs fans must hope that Pochettino learns from his mistakes to return silverware to White Hart Lane.

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