Pochettino would prioritise Premier League if Spurs qualify for Europa League again
Mauricio Pochettino says he has learned from his first experience of the Europa League and that, if Tottenham qualify for the competition again, he will prioritise their Premier League campaign next season.
Spurs’ European exertions appeared to damage their league form once again this term, with all of their top-flight home defeats against Liverpool, West Brom, Newcastle and Stoke coming after Thursday night matches – plus a poor display in a 2-2 draw against West Ham in February.
Pochettino said: “I have no regrets about my decisions but always with my philosophy you can improve your game. This was our first experience [of the Europa League] as a staff and it was good for us to have this experience – we need to use that next season.
“Maybe if we reach the Europa League I think we need to be focused on the Premier League and try to reach the top four - that is important. Maybe we prioritise the Premier League.”
Once again, Spurs face an important transfer window this summer. It has rarely been entirely clear who is signing the players at White Hart Lane, and chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini currently have roles, while Paul Mitchell came in as head of recruitment and analysis in November.
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Asked who has the final say, Pochettino laughed: “I think it should be me, no? Always the manager and the coaching staff need to deal with the player, in the changing room or on the pitch - and if the feeling is not good between us it is difficult to achieve something.
“It is very important with the players who stay here and the players who maybe we bring in that I agree and it is my decision.
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“Because if not, if you bring in some players here and I don’t know these players, maybe it is not that they are bad players, but it is important the feeling the player has with the coaching staff or the manager.
“As a coach [and coaching staff] we spend a lot of time coaching the team and don’t have enough time to look at potential players. But obviously we spend a lot of time here just to try to make sure that we are tracking all the players in a good way.”
Asked if he had the final say on all of last summer’s signings, Pochettino replied: “Yes, yes.”
He added: “It is like in all situations, you need to have a good mix and the right balance in the squad. You need to add some players who fit the profile of the players we have here. You have to buy players to fit your style and fit your needs – it is not about the cost of the player.
“It is impossible to describe the [kind of] player as I would need to give you a name. You will see, it’s only early.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs