Did Pochettino once again expose his biggest weakness against Arsenal?

Tottenham Hotspur Seats

There has been plenty of criticism aimed at the Tottenham Hotspur boss after his team selection in the Capital One Cup.

After Tottenham's Capital One Cup defeat to fierce rivals Arsenal, the radio phone-ins and social media airwaves have been full of supporter criticism for Mauricio Pochettino.

There have been plenty of decisions the Argentine has got right during his time at White Hart Lane but, here, there seems to be a consensus he got things badly wrong.

Interestingly, you can argue he didn't - and that he gave the chance to fringe players to prove themselves, with those players simply letting him down badly and therefore putting their commitment to the cause into question.

Many, however, feel Pochettino disrespected the north London derby - without a doubt, Tottenham's fiercest game of the season.

But could there be a deeper issue?

We've been here before with Pochettino. Again, he may not be a bad manager, he may even end up a superb manager, while his team selections are often correct. Yet, going into a big week where successfully picking a team is a must, the Spurs boss has already failed in the past.

Indeed, venture back to the most important week of Tottenham's season last term. Overall, it was an encouraging campaign for the north London club. They finished fifth and reached a cup final.

But, when things were at their most important, Pochettino's judgement went AWOL. Key players were either rotated or dropped as Spurs faced West Ham in the league, Fiorentina in the Europa League and Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final.

And, out of three key games, Tottenham won zero. A 2-2 draw with West Ham was disappointing - a 2-0 collapse in Fiorentina even worse. After all that, the north London side never had a sniff in the League Cup against Chelsea, which begs the question of why anyone was rested in the first place.

A telling similarity was playing Federico Fazio against Fiorentina. He played - and played badly - again v Arsenal this week.

While there are plenty of facets to Pochettino's management that deserve praise, then, it appears his biggest weakness is squad rotation when he faces a series of tough fixtures. Unfortunately, that means often underperforming when it matters most.

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