Tottenham became first Premier League club not to make a summer window signing since 2002
Sunday 28 October 2018 11:44, UK
Ian Ladyman believes Mauricio Pochettino is happy to deflect the blame for Tottenham's lack of recruitment in the summer on Daniel Levy, despite the manager "playing a part" in that.
Despite Spurs' best start to a Premier League season, they stand on the brink of Champions League elimination, having not signed a single player in the summer window.
Speaking on Sunday Supplement, the Daily Mail's football editor Ladyman says if Spurs are not improving, they are going backwards, as they prepare to meet champions Manchester City at Wembley on Monday Night Football.
"Pochettino is the manager who likes to have a small squad," Ladyman said. "He is the manager who didn't want players before getting a few out, he couldn't get them out so he couldn't get anyone else in. Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are still there, so he couldn't bring anyone else in.
"I think it's quite easy, as a football manager, to allow the supporters to blame other people at the football club. (Jose) Mourinho is trying to do that at the moment, to move that blame. And I think Pochettino, as much as we all like him, does a little bit of that as well.
"I think he's quite happy for supporters to blame Daniel Levy for the fact that squad didn't change. I know he played a part in that. It's come back to bite him, and the football club.
"In this game, at the top level, if you are not improving, you are going backwards. There's no such thing as standing still. Because everyone else is improving.
Mourinho is trying to do that at the moment, to move that blame. And I think Pochettino, as much as we all like him, does a little bit of that as well.
"City improved their squad, Liverpool did, Arsenal changed their manager and improved their squad, Chelsea the same. Tottenham didn't improve their squad.
"I'm not talking about big, big-name players here, we're talking about a bit of depth here and there. You see Liverpool yesterday, and one of their best players was Xherdan Shaqiri. Not a massive, headline signing. But the type of player just to give you a bit of help.
"What have Tottenham done to help themselves there? Nothing. They've gone into this season, and thought: 'Sorry Harry Kane, Dele Ali, Christian Eriksen, you're just going to have to get us through again.'"
Meanwhile, Tottenham's new stadium will not be ready this year, the club have confirmed.
Despite criticism of the club for the delay, the Daily Mirror's chief football writer John Cross believes they deserve credit for staying in the area, but suggested a two-year timeline would have been better to ease expectations.
"It's their best-ever start to a Premier League season," Cross said. "They are in the mix. I just feel that the stadium hasn't been handled well, it has become something of an embarrassment.
"I'm amazed that from the off, why not just say it will take two years? Fans wouldn't have been happy, but you're not setting yourself false targets.
"I actually think Spurs deserve a lot of credit for staying in the area, they looked at other alternatives, Wembley, Olympic Stadium or outside of the M25.
"But they stayed in the area, one of London's most deprived areas, in the community, and for that they deserve the utmost amount of credit. But they should have said two years."
Watch Tottenham v Manchester City on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm