The Premier League has published its latest tracking data for distance covered by players and teams this season, with some surprise results.
Whilst Burnley lead the way in terms of distance covered, of the 17 teams that were in the league last year, it is Tottenham Hotspur who have improved the most in this area.
On average, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have covered 7km more per game than they did last season. It is a remarkable turnaround in work-rate and it shows just how much the Argentine demands from his players.
The pressing style which Pochettino uses has had a huge effect on his players, as has his use of younger performers who have the ability to run for longer and press the ball high up the pitch effectively.
Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen is ranked third in terms of total distance covered, with only Scott Arfield and George Boyd of the Clarets running further than his 415.33km. The Dane also covered the most ground in one game with his total of 13.6km against Swansea City in March.
Another interesting find was the fact Pochettino’s former club, Southampton, have had the biggest decrease in distance covered. This not only shows the differing styles between himself and Ronald Koeman but also how extreme his methods are.
The Dutchman prefers his Saints side to have large spells of possession and a more structured defensive set-up, compared to his predecessor's more intense approach.
It is possible that Pochettino demands his players to run too much, risking burn-out. Pressing is effective when it is used correctly but if it is utilised too much without letting the players have a significant rest, they can get tired extremely quickly.
One thing is for certain, you have to be very fit to play for Pochettino’s Spurs side.