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'I don't blame Pochettino, I blame the players' - Sherwood blasts Tottenham stars for lacking 'bravery'

7:52 AM EST 11/18/19
Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2019-20
A man who enjoyed separate spells at Spurs as a player and manager has jumped to the Argentine's defence after an inconsistent run of form

Tim Sherwood insists Tottenham's players are to blame for a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, not head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs finished in the Premier League's top four for a fourth successive year last term, while also reaching their first-ever Champions League final.

Pochettino was widely praised for overseeing significant progress at Spurs once again, with optimism at an all-time high earlier this summer after a few new arrivals were brought in during the transfer window.

Unfortunately, Tottenham have been unable to match the same high standards they set last season in recent months, slipping to 14th in the Premier League after 12 fixtures.

Spurs are without a win in their last five domestic fixtures and must beat West Ham away on Saturday to put some much-needed distance between themselves and 18th-placed Watford in the relegation places.

Pochettino has faced plenty of criticism for his side's recent performances, but Sherwood thinks the players should be taking more responsibility for a worrying loss of form.

“I don’t blame the manager, I blame the players,” the ex-Tottenham boss told TalkSPORT.

“They have to look at themselves and have that bravery when things are not going well to get on the ball in dangerous areas and really take the game to the opposition.

“Because, at the moment, a few of them look like they’re hiding.

“When you have a bad run of form you always look for excuses why, and everyone is pointing to the obvious one, which is the uncertainty amongst the squad.

“Three or four players are out of contract and others are coming quite close to running their contracts down next year. That’s not what Pochettino wants, he wants players who are going to be there for the long term.

“But, you still need to get the best out of what you’ve got.”

Spurs are already 11 points outside of the Champions League places and look destined to drop out of the competition unless they can reach the showpiece event again come May.

After facing the Hammers this weekend, Tottenham can progress to the last 16 in Europe if they earn three points at home to Olympiacos on November 26.

Pochettino's men will then look ahead to another vital clash Premier League clash four days later, with Bournemouth set to arrive at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.