Mauricio Pochettino has sparked fears among the first team in North London that he wants out of the club, while the Tottenham Hotspur boss has left some uneasy with his tactical calls this season, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper claims that players have become fearful of the prospect of Pochettino calling time on his tenure in charge of the top-four regulars, and suggests that the Argentine is actively searching for a way out of the club.
Pochettino has been in charge of Tottenham since May 2014 and has overseen 286 games with the North Londoners – more fixtures than with any previous side of his managerial career (TransferMarkt).
Spurs have endured a challenging season so far, though, with the team losing at home to Premier League strugglers Newcastle United in August before failing to convert leads into wins against Arsenal, Olympiacos and more recently Bayern Munich.
The mauling Spurs suffered at the hands of the Bavarian powerhouse in the Champions League was the first time Tottenham have conceded seven goals in a home fixture throughout their history.
Speaking after the game, Pochettino stressed the importance of his players remaining united in the face of an adverse result, but his mood has sparked fears among some players that he is considering whether he wishes to remain in North London for much longer.
Pochettino is also claimed to have become distant in training and watches some sessions from indoors, with the Argentine’s demeanour noticeably different to before the summer break when Tottenham lost the Champions League final to Liverpool in Madrid.
Some of Spurs’ key players are even becoming somewhat confused by certain decisions Pochettino has made this season and have taken particular note of his treatment to the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, who have all spent time out of the first team fold.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is not currently prepared to sack Pochettino, despite his club’s poor results so far this season, as he would be obliged to pay the Argentine £32m to break his contract.
Tottenham would appear to have placed themselves in a difficult situation with the break clause allegedly in Pochettino’s contract, as it makes it almost impossible for them to sack the Argentine without things deteriorating behind the scenes to the point where players could have to go on strike to force change.
Claims of players being uneasy at his decisions and questioning whether Pochettino is committed will also likely worry the Tottenham fanbase and widen the calls (Express) for Levy to take action.
The Spurs chairman must first try and see what Pochettino’s problem is, though, as the situation could be resolvable, and Tottenham will need their manager’s future sorted before next summer when they could have to sign replacements for Eriksen, Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
Will this be Mauricio Pochettino's last season at Tottenham?
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