Wednesday, 26 October 2016
It was a throwback to the Lennon years, a player with great pace and not once did N'Koudou knock the ball past his man and take him on. he had to keep dropping too deep the get the ball from davies who offered little going forward.
He kept turning back and playing the possession game. He was ineffective and will learn more from that game than he did against Gillingham. The 21-year-old (22 next February) Frenchman was always going to need time to get fit after having no pre-season and then would have to adjust to our style of play and the greater physicality and speed of the Premier League, after only just having broken into the French league.
It is unfortunate a slip deep in our own half from him led to Liverpool scoring the first goal. We have to forget his age and say this is the level we want you playing at. It is up to him to work to play to that level, if you lower your standards to accommodate a player then you lower the standards of the whole team.
This is why I reaffirm that football is a ruthless game where you do not accept second best. You acknowledge it and work on improving each day. That sound simply but without the right mentality is impossible to do, hence players like N'jie stagnate. Yes he was injured but the the remaining half of the season he was fit he wasn't showing Pochettino enough where you have to show it, in training. Do that and you'll get your chance.
The plan was for Moussa Sissoko to play but a 3-game ban put paid to that so N'Koudou was drafted in. He took part in some decent passing football from us. We were creating outside the box, Janssen was playing some lovely touches, but the next leg of the play was then not up to the level of the approach play.
There is ability there in N'Koudou clearly and in Pochettino we have the right man to tease it out.