Danny Murphy, ex-Tottenham and Liverpool midfielder, has claimed that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino should be the man to blame for Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool.
Murphy wrote in his Daily Mail column that Pochettino got his tactics all wrong for the match-up with their title rivals.
He wrote: “I didn’t have a particular problem with Mauricio Pochettino trying something different and setting up with a midfield diamond on Saturday.
“What shocked me — because I’m a huge fan of the Spurs manager — is that he didn’t alter the system after it quickly became clear it wasn’t working. When Spurs came out the same way for the second half, I knew Liverpool would win the game.
“Pochettino set up the 4-4-2 diamond to counter Liverpool’s 4-3-3. Fair enough. It hinted at showing ‘s side too much respect, but managers are entitled to try to solve problems their way. But a pattern emerged straight away of Spurs being ripped apart playing like that.”
We have seen Pochettino flirt with a number of different systems so far in the early stages of the season. He’s relied on a 4-3-2-1 formation and occasionally he has played with a 3-4-2-1 formation as well. The only previous occasion in which Pochettino has employed the 4-4-2 diamond was in their very impressive win away at Old Trafford where he saw his side run out easy 3-0 winners.
Murphy added: “Harry Winks and Eric Dier as the wider players in the diamond were caught in no-man’s land, chasing Liverpool’s central midfield players and wingers and getting close to none of them. Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose pushed upfield as normal and were caught out when Liverpool attacked.
“I’ve heard it said that players, not systems, win matches. Utter rubbish — and I told managers that if they ever came out with the cliche in the dressing room. Yes, you need good players but the way you set up is important, too. How do you think Leicester City won the Premier League?”