The Mauricio Pochettino Half-Time Tottenham Tactical Transformation That Was Even Praised By Arsene Wenger
The best managers operating at the highest level of the beautiful game not only identify the minutest of problems but make the decisive tactical tweaks that can transform a passive display into a pulsating performance.
This is exactly what Mauricio Pochettino did on Wednesday night at Wembley stadium as Tottenham stormed to an emphatic 3-0 first-leg win over a dangerous Borussia Dortmund that had previously conceded just two goals in this season’s competition.
The Bundesliga leaders arguably edged the first-half with their English teenage superstar Jadon Sancho showing moments of superb skill as he tormented Davinson Sanchez on the right flank, whereas a muted Spurs failed to register a single shot on goal.
"The first half was very difficult, first of all because we never felt the confidence to play,” said Pochettino as reported on ESPN.
“We took some rash decisions. It's like we weren't comfortable. We didn't feel what we planned to play.”
Boss Pochettino would then reveal the inspiration behind Tottenham’s scintillating second-half showing which saw his troops hammer three goals past Borussia Dortmund without reply.
"But after we fixed some problems, showing them some clips at half-time and talking a little about different positions - offensive and defensive - and trying to help the team to perform better.”
The half-time video session and subsequent adjustments certainly did the trick as within two minutes of the restart the hosts had taken the lead through a well-taken goal from Heung-min Son, while Jan Vertonghen - who thrived at left wing-back - and Fernando Llorente added juice to the win in the latter stages of the game.
Pochettino was even praised by a former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, who told beIN SPORTS:
“You must give him credit. He could have stuck to the system but he changed their attitude in the second-half. They were much more positive in the same system and the first goal changed the whole game.”