Guillem Balague says Tottenham’s new stadium has hindered Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressure game

Tottenham Hotspur are currently going through a very rough patch following a woeful start to 2019-20.

They have been dumped out of the League Cup, suffered a 7-2 loss at the hands of Bayern Munich at home and have won just three of their eight Premier League games.

Spurs headed into the international break with a 3-0 loss to Brighton Hove and Albion, and will look to turn things around when action resumes this weekend.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has cut a frustrated figure in the dugout and during some of his press conferences, and is without a doubt under a lot of pressure.

The Argentine has been widely backed to get Tottenham back on track, but Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons the club’s new stadium could have played its role in the side’s struggles.

“In his first years the system used most often was 3-4-3 or a 4-4-2 with offensive full-backs and mobile forwards, but it suddenly became clear to Pochettino and his team last season that their squad possessed an abundance of defensive players and so they began to play five at the back,” Balague told BBC.

“That stops that pressure high up the pitch as the number of players upfront is reduced. The players in the squad are also older and, frankly, many of them simply do not have the ‘legs’ they had three or four years ago. The youthfulness and vigour of the side when Pochettino first arrived, if not totally a thing of the past, has diminished.

“It is also worth noting that it is considered easier to play a high-pressure game on the smaller White Hart Lane surface they used to call home, compared to the longer and slightly wider pitches of Wembley and the new stadium.”

It will be interesting to see if Pochettino can come up with a different style of play as his current tactics are clearly not working.

Given Tottenham’s limited financial strength, a complete squad overhaul isn’t on the cards, but key departures are expected in the next two transfer windows.

Moreover, the club could do with new legs with some of their key players ageing, and how Pochettino sorts things out in the coming months will put his managerial and tactical prowesses to test.