Gary Neville: This ex-Tottenham quartet could not play under Pochettino
By Harvey Byrne
Gary Neville named Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Paulinho as four players who were incapable of playing under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
Pochettino became the manager at White Hart Lane two years ago in succession to Tim Sherwood, who had steered the club to sixth in the Premier League in 2013-14.
He has guided the north London club to third and fifth place finishes during his two years in charge and Neville paid tribute to the way the former Southampton boss has transformed the club after the 2-0 victory over Manchester City.
“I thought today it was a typical Pochettino team,” said Neville on his Sky Sports podcast.
“When you think of the mob he picked up here when came to Spurs with the likes of Adebayor, Kaboul and Capoue and Paulinho – I’m not having a go at them individually – and you look and think there’s no way they could play at the level Pochettino would have wanted them to given the demands that he has now. Inside two years the transformation is a brilliant coaching and recruitment job. We’re hearing less about Daniel Levy and more about the coach which I think is the right thing for Tottenham.
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“Young players, English players coming into the team. Moussa Dembele is a perfect example of a player who’s been revitalised, while Kyle Walker and Danny Rose – who we had with England four years ago and they were what I would call players who were unreliable in many different ways – but in the last 12 months their energy and their appetite to play, their want and willingness to run and learn to do the right things is a complete transformation. That’s down to Pochettino and the boys themselves.”
Pochettino managed the four players that Neville names for just one season before allowing them to leave the club during the summer of 2015.
Paulinho has since played in China, while Kaboul has moved to Sunderland and Watford respectively.
Adebayor joined Crystal Palace in the last campaign, but he is currently without a club.
Meanwhile, Capoue is looking revitalised in the new season under boss Walter Mazzarri at Watford scoring four goals in seven Premier League appearances for the Hornets.
Tottenham have progressed well under Pochettino and the north London club are currently sat in second place and one point away from Pep Guardiola’s league leaders following Sunday’s victory.