Premier League at 'disadvantage' with early window closing – Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino thinks the early closure of this summer’s transfer window will put Premier League clubs as a disadvantage in Europe, and admits he is unsure whether Tottenham will make any signings.
England’s top-flight sides have voted to place their deadline before the start of the season, on Aug. 9, but teams across the channel will have more time to register new players.
With just nine days remaining until the window closes in England, Spurs are yet to sign or sell any senior players, leaving them in a race against time.
Pochettino said: “If you compare with Europe I think you are in complete disadvantage and, sure, it does not help the clubs in the Premier League. We are all in the same situation in England. I don’t know if the rest of the teams are happy with that decision.
“Personally I think it’s not right. I think it’s right if you agree with all of Europe and all the different countries.
“In this situation I think it didn’t help, or it’s not going to help, the Premier League clubs or the clubs in England to have the same possibility to another contender, because afterwards you’re going to compete in Europe and we are going to compete in the Champions League.
“To have 20 days less I think is not a thing that is going to help you. It wasn’t my decision. I never gave my opinion on that.”
Tottenham made their moves late in last summer’s window too, bringing in five new players in the final days, but Pochettino is unsure whether there will be a similar recruitment spree this time.
“Last season I told you [how many signings I expected] but this season we don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if we are going to sign or not. We’re working on that. I cannot tell you if we’re going to sign one, zero or two, three or four. We’re working.
“It’s true that it’s so close, the [deadline] is so close, but the club’s doing everything to help the team and add some players, more quality.
“Of course we are going to compete with big sides and they are doing a lot of business. For us it’s still difficult to do. But in our mind it’s always to be competitive. We are going to play with 11 and try to be competitive and try to win every single game.”
Pochettino said at the end of last season that he hoped the club would “be brave and take risks” — a comment that was widely interpreted as a request for more transfer spending and earlier signings.
And Pochettino came close to issuing an ultimatum to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy by calling for the club to dramatically change approach.
The club’s executive director Donna Cullen said this week that that interpretation was a “misconception”, but Pochettino has declined to clarify or explain his comments.
This is the time of year when Tottenham chairman Levy tends to be least popular with the club’s supporters — but there’s a bigger picture.
“It’s difficult to explain after a few months what I told you,” he said. “The perception is the perception, what the people got from my message.
“I think they’re free to get what they want [from it]. In football it’s about being brave and taking the best decision and trying to win every week.”
Asked whether the club has done what he wanted so far this summer, Pochettino replied: “I’m working and focused on trying to deliver my job, our job. I try to prepare the team. That’s the focus and we’re concentrating on that.”
Tottenham complete their tour of the U.S. with a match against AC Milan at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Wednesday and Erik Lamela, who missed Saturday’s match against Barcelona with a muscle injury, will be absent again.
“Erik and Victor [Wanyama] are not going to play tomorrow,” said Pochettino. “Victor has returned to London for a scan on his knee.
“[Moussa] Sissoko and Lamela, we hope it’s not a big issue, so they are still here with us, but there’s no point in taking a risk tomorrow.”