In Depth

Spurs stunned as Pochettino talks of divisions in squad

League Two side Colchester knock Tottenham out of the Carabao Cup on penalties

Carabao Cup third round

Colchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 Colchester United won 4-3 on penalties 

Mauricio Pochettino has spoken of a divided squad after watching his Tottenham side slump to a humiliating defeat at Colchester United.

Last season’s Champions League finalists were beaten 4-3 on penalties by the League Two outfit in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday after being held to a goalless draw in normal time. 

And the Spurs manager was in no mood to offer the traditional trite soundbites in the post-match press conference.

Unsettled squad

“When you have an unsettled squad always it’s difficult and you lose time and then you need time to recover the time you lose,” muttered Pochettino. 

“That’s where we are. Maybe our performances are good but you need this extra, which is mental, connection, it’s energy to be all together, not to have different agendas in the squad.”

Give us time

Despite his candid assessment of the divisions with the squad, Pochettino said he was confident that Tottenham would get through this challenging time. 

“We need time again to build that togetherness that you need when you are competing at this level,” he said. 

“We are in a period where it’s a bit tough for us but we keeping working to find a solution. When this type of thing happens it’s about staying clear and fresh and calm. We’re trying to find solutions and we only need time.”

January sales

Colchester, tenth in League Two and 70 places behind Tottenham in the league hierarchy, deserved their triumph against a Premier League side that fielded the likes of Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama, Lucas Moura and Davinson Sanchez. 

The visitors mustered just four shots on target and Moura and substitute Christian Eriksen missed from the spot as Colchester won the shoot-out 4-3. 

Despite spending nearly £100m in the summer transfer market, Pochettino said he would be opening the purse strings again in the new year. 

“January is going to be a good opportunity to fix this situation and the next one,” he told reporters.

“That is the problem when something happens that you cannot control. It means we are human and in football to keep the successful period in football you need to be different every season and find different solutions.”

Italian job

According to The Sun, one player being eyed by the Spurs boss is Fiorentina winger Riccardo Sottil. The paper says that scouts from Tottenham were in Italy on Sunday evening to watch the youngster in action against Atalanta.

Carabao Cup third round results

Tuesday 24 September
  • Colchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 (Colchester won 4-3 on penalties)  
  • Crawley Town 1 Stoke City 1 (Crawley won 5-3 on penalties)  
  • Luton Town 0 Leicester City 4 
  • Portsmouth 0 Southampton 4  
  • Preston North End 0 Manchester City 3  
  • Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 2  
  • Watford 2 Swansea City 1  
  • Arsenal 5 Nottingham Forest 0 

Carabao Cup third round fixtures

Wednesday 25 September (7.45pm unless stated) 
  • Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa  
  • Burton Albion vs. AFC Bournemouth  
  • Chelsea vs. Grimsby Town  
  • Milton Keynes Dons vs. Liverpool (live on Sky Sports
  • Oxford United vs. West Ham United  
  • Sheffield United vs. Sunderland  
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Reading  
  • Manchester United vs. Rochdale (8pm)


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