Has ignoring the value of experience cost Mauricio Pochettino the title?

by Andy Dillon / 28 April 2016, 09:58

Mauricio PochettinoTottenham's Premier League title hopes suffered a big blow on Monday after they were held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom, meaning Leicester now need just three points from their remaining three games in order to hoist the famous trophy.

The Sun's Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) gives his opinion on Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and how he missed a trick in overlooking the addition of one or two experienced heads in the dressing room...

WHEN GRAEME SOUNESS talks about football it is wise to listen.

Not only because you still wouldn't fancy your chances against him but also for the five League titles he won with Liverpool.

If anyone knows how to stay the distance and keep their nerve it is the single hardest footballer ever known.

So when Souness spouted that Tottenham's young team froze in the lights at White Hart Lane on Monday against West Brom maybe he had a point.

The win they needed disappeared into the night and now it's a case of watching Leicester roll across the finish line to claim the most sensational Premier League title to date.

And what Souness says is central to where Mauricio Pochettino has failed Spurs this season.

Ray Kennedy was 27 and already a double winner from his time at Arsenal when he signed for Liverpool.

Souness's first league title in 1979 was the third of Kennedy';s superb haul of six overall and he was there to hand over the reins as Liverpool created a cast-iron dynasty that is immortal.

What Pochettino needed and still needs is an experienced anchor man for his team.

His kids at White Hart Lane are talented and hungry that is beyond debate but they also have understandable young minds and nervous systems which have been in overdrive for the past three months ever since Spurs become serious title contenders.

Their 1-0 defeat at West Ham on March 2 was the first indication that the butterflies were there. A nervy performance when Spurs couldn't string two passes together.

Had they won that night they would have reached the summit of English football as top team in the Premier League. But they froze - just as Souness said they did when another big night loomed up in front of them this Monday.

The average age of Tottenham's ten outfield players for the 1-1 draw with West Brom was 24.6 years. Not one player in his 30s.

A Yaya Toure or even a Michael Carrick sitting in the middle of the park or even on the bench or the dressing room to shepherd the kids through may well have paid huge dividends.

Pochettino is attempting to build an off-the-peg title winning team with the best young players in the country, many of them English and that is to be admired.

But where he took his eye off the ball was by ignoring the value of experience to keep the ship steady when the pressure was on.

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