Football Psychology: Tottenham Hotspur – The Reset!

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Football PsychologyWe are barely a quarter into the season, and Spurs’s manager Mauricio Pochettino is under pressure. A faltering start to the campaign has got people asking questions about whether he has taken the Spurs as far as he can. Yet, only a few months ago, the Argentinian was leading them out in their first Champions League Final.

After every major final loss, there is a natural period of comedown. A huge amount of mental and emotional energy is exerted in breaking a stop situation, and going further than you have gone before.

If you win that final, then the collective well is filled with euphoria. Lose and the well is emptied. And thus takes time to refill and replenish. Which would explain a difficult start to the season.

It’s a time for re-set, not a time for results and knee jerk reactions. Having navigated their way to a Champions League Final, expectations are raised. Which creates pressure. Players try too hard to replicate performances from last season. Leading to poor decisions and loss of energy.

The key is to recognise where they are in the cycle of development, and settle into the re-set. There is no time frame on the re-set. It may take more than a season. And so calls for patience and trust. Players may need to leave, and fresh vibrant energy carefully integrated into the club.

But if Mauricio Pochettino is good enough to take Spurs to the Champions League Final, then he is certainly good enough to negotiate this period of re-set. Results may be frustrating. But they are merely a temporary marker. Pochettino has to hold to a greater vision and picture of where he is taking the club, and know where he is now, in relation to that vision.

That will allow him to be settled, and thus his settlement and calmness is transfered to his players. Who will in turn play with less expectation. Which will allow the cycle to be quickened. Meaning critics will stop asking questions of this highly capable manager and leader!