Paul Merson blasts Tottenham boss Pochettino, states what he got wrong
By Amir Mir
Paul Merson believes Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino made a mistake in dropping Mousa Dembele to the bench following the 1-0 defeat to West Ham on Friday.
Spurs lost ground on the Premier League title race as Manuel Lanzini’s goal shattered their hopes of catching leaders Chelsea.
At the start of the match, Pochettino opted to play Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier in front of the back four.
That move backfired as Merson believes the duo were “suffocated” during the match with Dembele coming on a second-half substitute.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday, which aired on Sky Sports News, Merson blasted Pochettino and stated why he got it “wrong” in not starting with Dembele from the off.
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“I think he got it wrong with the Dembele one,” Merson told Sky Sports. “I think Dembele has to play because he is the kind of player that when someone comes to close him down, he is so comfortable on the ball.
“Wanyama and Dier are very good players but they are not players that when someone closes you down, they are going to do a little bit of magic and go past you.”
Slaven Bilic’s team produced their best display at the London Stadium to date as their high pressing style cause problems for the away team.
Prior to Lanzini firing home the winner in the second-half, Hammers goalkeeper Adrian did make a number of important saves to keep the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane at bay.
It now means that Chelsea can open up their lead at the top of the table to seven points if they beat Middlesbrough on Monday night.
On May 12, they will they then travel to Tony Pulis’ West Brom, knowing a further three points will see them crowned champions of England.
In other Tottenham news, this is the text message a Chelsea first teamer sent to Slaven Bilic before their win on Friday.