THINGS are going from bad to worse for Tottenham Hotspur.
They have just three wins from 11 games this season, were dumped out of the Carabao Cup to League Two Colchester and have already lost in the Premier League to Newcastle, Leicester and Brighton.
Their last away league win was on January 20 – the longest stretch of any of the 20 top-flight clubs.
Oh, and they also got thumped 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, two weeks after surrendering a 2-0 lead at Olympiakos.
It is safe to say Mauricio Pochettino’s men are not having it all their own way and The Athletic reckons there are seven behind-the-scenes factors behind the crisis.
One dressing room source told The Athletic: “The place is a regime and they’re sick of him. It’s his way or nothing, there is no balance. The players don’t get the impression they are trusted at all.”
No wonder some of the long-term players – the likes of Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose – have all refused to commit their futures to North London.
It is no secret Spurs do not pay the big bucks like they do elsewhere at the ‘big six’ clubs, although Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela have signed big long-term deals.
Daniel Levy has prioritised the financial stability of the club – he is a businessman, after all – and has repeatedly refused to offer significant pay rises despite improving on-pitch results.
According to the article, news of Levy’s £6million annual salary “went down badly” with players who feel they should be on more than they currently are, especially when they look at their counterparts at the likes of Manchester United and even across North London at Arsenal.
One source described Levy as “the Mike Ashley of the top of the league” – desperate to get as far as possible by spending as little as possible.
The report reckons five years of relentless training and drilling from Poch is beginning to take its toll.
Players have complained they do not get enough days off and the intense pressing, high-energy game looks to be causing problems with a number of individual errors and collective team collapses.
Performances over recent weeks have been weak, drab and generally well below the standard expected and the standard set.
There is a distinct lack of fight and hunger on display and Poch is desperately trying to “recover this aggressivity”.
Poch’s determination to stick with his favoured 4-4-2 diamond midfield is also causing problems.
It leaves the team exposed down the flanks at Moussa Sissoko admitted the players get tired quicker in that shape.
The idea that Pochettino is volatile and unpredictable has only increased this year, especially when he went straight to Barcelona after the Champions League final.
His up-and-down, hot-and-cold nature, as well as the speculation linking him with a move away, have reportedly raised concerns at the club.