Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham need to start putting more pressure on referees in order to win games.
The Spurs manager thinks Juventus’ propensity to influence the officials’ decisions was one of the key factors behind Wednesday night’s Champions League exit.
Tottenham were the better side over two legs against Juventus, but the Serie A champions ran out 4-3 winners on aggregate as a result of their comeback victory in the second leg at Wembley.
The Italian giants cancelled out Heung-Min Son’s first half strike with two goals in three minutes after the break, ending Spurs’ impressive run in Europe.
After the game, Pochettino put his side’s defeat down to “two big mistakes,” referring to Juventus’ goals.
But in a press conference on Friday, the Tottenham boss said he and his players were too nice and could have put more pressure on the referee to swing things in their favour.
“Maybe I and we need to learn, the coaching staff, like our players, how we put pressure on the referee,”, said Pochettino (via the Independent).
“In this type of game, every minimal detail can help you win the game.
“Look at the second half. Many fouls that weren’t fouls, many times they started the game with the ball moving, players inside the box on goal kicks – you need to take it again.
“In the Premier League this doesn’t happen. That situation is about experience.
“We of course complained about Barzagli’s stamp on Son in the first half. We put pressure on the referee.
“It was easy for the referee to manage us because we were very nice people, trying to help to play a game.”
“Before the game was Agnelli, after the game was Agnelli, Marotta. I saw at half-time how they put pressure on the referee.
“They were complaining about the penalty in the first-half. Of course.”
One of the many things I’ve always appreciated about Pochettino is the fact he rarely moans at officials or blames defeats on refereeing decisions.
For me, his comments could be read as a sly dig at Juventus’ tactics rather than a call for Spurs to act in a similar way.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.