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Monday, 3 October 2016

Pochettino has a head start on his rivals

Gary Neville in his after game Sky podcast felt that the Premier League had to up it's game having not made an impact in the UEFA Champions League and the standard of football has definitely increased.

He talked about all the unseen things fans generally don't throw into the mix when they are discussing football and judging a player. I constantly state that the mental side of the game is the most important aspect of it for good reason, it's the truth. Your brain decides what you do with your feet, with where you are on the pitch, where you are going, every aspect relies on the brain.

Neville felt the higher standard of play was because of an increased focus and concentration, a higher intensity, more tackling, more energy, everything he felt has been better in the Premier League as a whole. Those clubs that haven't raised their game are struggling.

Eleven clubs changed their manager last season, some more than once. That is a tremendous number which means many sides are rebuilding and will perhaps not be the force some ecpect until the new manager can get the players he wants in the squad.

West Ham United replaced Sam Allardyce with Slavan Bilic. Watford replaced Slaviša Jokanović with Quique Flores. Newcastle United sacked John Carver and replaced him with Steve McClaren, while Leicester City sacked Nigel Pearson and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri. Those four changes happened in pre-season.

During the season:
Sunderland - Dick Advocaat resigned and was replaced by Sam Allardyce
Liverpool sacked Brendan Rogers and replaced him with Jurgen Klopp
Aston Villa sacked Tim Sherwood and replaced him with Rémi Garde who left by mutual consent and was replaced by Eric Black
Swansea City sacked Gary Monk and replaced him with caretaker boss Alan Curtis and then replaced him with Francesco Guidolin
Chelsea - José Mourinho left Chelsea by mutual consent and was replaced by Guus Hiddink
Newcastle United sacked Steve McClaren and replaced him with Rafa Benitez
Everton sacked Roberto Martinez and replaced him with Ronald Koeman
Manchester United sacked Louis van Gaal and replaced him with José Mourinho

Mauricio Pochettino has a head start on his rivals, they are still having to bed in players, we are too but we also have a settled squad who know how we play, have experience of it and are developing.

Things that may sound simple have to be learnt and developed like how a player receives a ball. There isn't a problem passing to a player who appears to be marked if he receives the ball with his back to an opponent, when he either has to hold the ball up or play it off to a running teammate. That takes a marker out of a game, which if it is a centre-half then provides a gap behind him.

The first Son goal against Middlesbrough was played by Eriksen into Janssen who was backing into the defender who thus had no chance of stealing the ball. He laid it off for Son's run and the South Korean did the rest.

The other option is to receive the ball and be turning so you are already preparing to go past your man who as he has to react to your movement is always at a disadvantage. Often he'll have to foul you to stop you so doing that around the box is crucial to win free-kicks. The ball into the receiver has to be the right ball so once again you have to know your teammate and their game.


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