Interview with Pascal Chimbonda

The ex-Tottenham defender discusses all things Pochettino, transfers and more.

Pascal Chimbonda | Sportingbet

Do you think Pochettino would have left Tottenham if not given transfer funds?

"Tottenham would never have let Pochettino leave the club this summer. They know how valuable he is and will give him the funds he needs to improve the squad.

"Tottenham were lucky that the major teams across Europe had already locked in place their new managers, which would have limited Pochettino’s options had he decided to leave. It may have been tempting had a big club offered him everything, but Tottenham made sure they were in the driving seat."

Will Tottenham be expecting a trophy from Pochettino next season?

"The Tottenham board will be expecting a trophy from Pochettino next season if he spends big this transfer window. The board are always going to want a return for their money and Tottenham have come close a few times to silverware, but new signings should see them jump that last hurdle."

Can Tottenham close the gap on Man City and Liverpool?

"Next season is Tottenham’s best chance of closing the gap on Liverpool and City, so they have to spend big in the transfer market. The issues at Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd have to be capitalised on.

"With Chelsea’s transfer ban, Tottenham are the most desired club outside of City and Liverpool. Arsenal won’t be able to attract the big players after failing to qualify for the Champions League and Man Utd are going through a transitional period which has taken its toll on the club.

"Tottenham have to cement themselves in the top three next season and be title contenders throughout the season. This is the club’s chance to separate themselves from Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd."

Would any other manager be able to achieve what Pochettino has done at Tottenham?

"No manager in the world would have been able to do a better job than Pochettino has done at Tottenham. He has got every player performing to their full ability and no one could improve on what he’s already done.

"As a player, you want to work under a manager that will let you express yourself on the field. Players know they will get that with Pochettino and they will want to work under him. It’s only a matter of time before he starts delivering silverware."

How long will Pochettino stay at Tottenham?

"If Tottenham don’t win a trophy and finish in the top four next season then Pochettino will leave the club. He’s hungry for success and needs to manage a team that shares the same desire as him.

"He’s done an outstanding job at stabilising Tottenham as a top team, but it’s time to move on and become genuine competitors against the big teams. Pochettino won’t accept standing still as he wants to progress and I think Tottenham have to now make that leap."

Should Levy be giving Pochettino full control over transfers?

"Man City and Liverpool are so successful because they give their managers full control over transfers and Tottenham have to do the same. The manager knows what’s best for the club and should have the final say on incoming and outgoing transfers.

"As a player you work with the manager, not the board. It doesn’t make sense if the manager doesn’t want you there or you don’t want to work underneath them. The only way to guarantee that is by giving the manager complete control.

"When you look at Liverpool and City’s team, every player wants to be there. There are no rifts in the changing rooms, or talks of any players falling out with the manager. A major factor for this is every player knows they’re wanted and part of the manager’s structure. If the manager wasn’t the main reason behind your signing, then there’s always that doubt that you don’t fit in to the plan."

Daniel Levy | Sportingbet

If Pochettino were to move, would players follow him?

"Players could follow Pochettino out the door if he was to leave, especially if they feel he gets the best out of them. Players will do what’s best for them and it’s another key reason for Tottenham to keep Pochettino happy.

"He clearly has a good bond with the players and losing him now may turn a few heads. If the team wasn’t doing well, then obviously players will be looking for someone new to come in and freshen things up."

How big a signing is Ndombele for Tottenham?

"Ndombele is a massive signing for Tottenham and he will fill the void that Dembele left. He showed his class against Man City in the Champions League and will make a real difference to the team. If he can stand out against the League Champions, then he should be able to do the same against the rest of the league.

"Tottenham was the best fit for Ndomebele as he will play first team football which he may not have got at somewhere like City. Tottenham have had a visible hole where Dembele played and Ndombele is more than capable of filling it."

Can Jack Clarke break in to the Tottenham team?

"Tottenham need to throw Clarke in to the deep end in the same way they did with Alli. He is guaranteed first team football at Leeds, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tottenham brought him back before the season ended.

"It’s important that Tottenham see whether he can make it at the top level and the only way to do that is by giving him minutes. He is still young, but Alli was very young when he came to Tottenham and was implemented in to the first team very quickly.

"It’s important for Clarke to stand out in the Leeds team this season and play a big role in getting them back in to the Premier League. It will be a real judge of character and I’m expecting big things from him."

Would Eriksen play in the first team for Real Madrid?

"Eriksen won’t play in Real Madrid’s first team, but it’s the price he will have to pay for trophies. Madrid have too many world class players in the form of Hazard, Modic and Kroos, who will all get ahead of him on the team sheet.

"Madrid is a massive club and there is no room for players to have an off day. If Eriksen has a dip in form, another player will be waiting to come in and take his place, which isn’t the case at Tottenham.

"It’s a massive step for him, but one he needs to take. He has shown he can single-handedly win games and I believe he would do the same at Madrid."

Christian Eriksen | Sportingbet

Would Lo Celso be a good signing for Tottenham?

"Lo Celso would be an excellent signing for Tottenham. If Eriksen were to move on, he would definitely be able to fill his shoes. He’s a very clever player and can unlock defences with his passing ability, which is what Eriksen brought to the team.

"He improved massively when moving to Betis as he had better players around him and I think it would be the same if he moved to Tottenham. Having the likes of Kane, Son and Lucas in front of him will make him a real handful against any opposition."

Will Alderweireld leave Tottenham this transfer window?

"Alderweireld will only leave Tottenham for one of Europe’s elite clubs. There seems to be a wage issue between him and the club, but as a player you also want to be playing at the highest level and I can’t see him taking a step backwards to earn more.

"Some players are happy to take a step back for a higher wage package but Alderweireld doesn’t seem to be a player with that mentality. I’m confident that he will be playing in a Tottenham shirt next season and he will feel confident that Tottenham can deliver a trophy.

"If Tottenham can keep hold of Alderweireld, then they won’t have to sign any defenders this summer transfer window."

Should Tottenham have looked to sign Wan-Bissaka ahead of Man Utd?

"Tottenham made the right choice to not try and sign Wan-Bissaka. He had a very good season for Palace, but he’s still very far off from becoming a proven player. Tottenham need to strengthen other parts of the pitch more urgently and Wan-Bissaka would have taken a massive wedge out of the transfer budget."

Should Tottenham continue to pursue Ryan Sessegnon?

"Pochettino can unlock Sessegnon’s full potential and would be a great signing for Tottenham. It’s unfair to judge him on last season’s performance as he was played in various positions in a team where everyone struggled to find their feet.

"He’s still very young and needs the guidance to fulfil his potential. Pochettino can offer him that as well as Danny Rose. I think Rose would be an excellent player for Sessegnon to learn from and it would give him some healthy competition. They are very similar in terms of both being attackingly strong, but Rose can improve Sessegnon’s defensive capabilities."

Would Van der Beek be a good singing for Tottenham?

"Van der Beek would be a great signing for Tottenham. They need to sign a creative midfielder this summer, especially if Eriksen leaves. Both Lo Celso and Van der Beek would offer them that creative spark going forward.

"Tottenham have a lot of deep lying midfielders that offer protection for the more attacking players, but they need a player that can offer goals and connect the defence and attack. At the moment, they have players that are very good at doing one, but not both. Lo Celso and Van der Beek would offer both."

Should Tottenham have offered Llorente a new contract?

"Tottenham were right to not offer Llorente a new contract. He played well when Kane was injured last season, but Tottenham need to sign someone that will lighten the goal scoring burden on Kane.

"Kane was visibly knackered last season and it led to an injury and dip in form. Tottenham need to sign a striker that can play in the cup competitions and League when the fixtures start to build up. Kane wants to play every game, but there’s more than enough games to keep a good rotation between him and another quality striker."

Fernando Llorente | Sportingbet

Should Lucas be first team for Tottenham after being left out of the Champions League Final?

"Tottenham’s strongest attacking threat is when Lucas, Son and Kane are all on the pitch. Pochettino has to start all three next season as they will cause issues for any defence.

"Lucas will be disappointed that he didn’t start the Champions League final and he probably deserved to after his semi-final heroics. As a player, you’ve got to put it behind you and focus on the next season and I believe he will. What’s happened has happened and you can’t let it affect you mentally."

Can you see Tripper being sold this transfer window?

"Tripper won’t be sold this window and will remain Tottenham’s first choice right back. He clearly struggled last season, but he will be a completely new player now he’s had a summer to rest without any international tournaments.

"With Aurier being injured throughout the season, it didn’t give Tripper a chance to rest when he needed it most. He’s proven he can play at the top level and you don’t lose that overnight. I expect we’ll see Tripper back to his best next season."

Will Tottenham look to sell Wanyama after numerous injuries?

"Wanyama will be like a new signing for Tottenham next season. He managed to stay injury free towards the end of the season and played some much needed first team football. He was a little rusty, but he can now kick on and start the season fresh.

"It’s important that he doesn’t push himself too hard as he needs to stay fit for the whole season to really get back on track. If he can do that, then he could be a vital player next season."

Can Sissoko hold his first team place next season?

"Sissoko will start alongside Ndombele next season. He was outstanding for Tottenham last season and finally got to show Tottenham why they signed him. His energy levels and strength make him a real nuisance to play against and adding Ndombele to that will only make it worse for other teams."

Can Harry Winks hold a first team position at Tottenham?

"Winks is an excellent player to bring off the bench, but he’s not first choice. He buzzes around the pitch and seems to be everywhere when you’re watching him. When there’s 20 or 30 minutes to go, he’s the ideal man to bring on as the opposition won’t be able to match his energy levels.

"He’s very good at dictating the game and controlling the tempo. With the options Tottenham now have in the deeper lying roles, I would be surprised to see Winks start regularly for Tottenham."

Does Dele Alli have to step up next season?

"Dele Alli has to really step it up a level next season and show everyone how good he can be. He had a quiet season compared to others and now’s the time to bring his game up a step.

"With Eriksen potentially on the move there will be more pressure on him to deliver and he has the ability to do that. He’s proven that he can score and create goals, but he needs to be the man Tottenham look to when it’s not going their way.

"Pochettino will give Alli the license to roam next season and if he can keep fit, he has the quality around him to score and assist plenty of goals."

Can Tottenham get back to a Champions League Final soon?

"Tottenham are more likely to win the Premier League before reaching the Champions League Final again. This was Tottenham’s biggest chance of winning the Champions League for many years. The top teams around Europe have all strengthened their squads this summer and will be set on winning the Champions League next season.

"Pochettino will focus more on trying to win the Premier League next season. They finished a fair way off the top two teams and he will want to bridge that gap and compete with the top two teams. If it comes down to focusing on one of the two, he will pick the League."

Mauricio Pochettino | Sportingbet

Who will finish in the top four next season?

"Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man Utd will finish in the top four next season. Man City and Liverpool will battle it out for the first place, but Tottenham won’t be far off.

"Man Utd will finish in fourth place. Chelsea will struggle with losing Hazard and having a transfer ban and Arsenal don’t have the same pulling power as the other teams. So I can see them two missing out."

How does a new stadium affect your performance as a player?

"Tottenham’s new stadium will give the players a real confidence boost when playing at home. They’ve already settled in very well and it’s always a more daunting prospect for an away team when they are in front of a big crowd.

"Tottenham have no more excuses to start delivering trophies. Everything is now in place for them to really compete with the best. They have a stable manager, quality players and a new stadium. It’s time for them to move up a level."

Can Tottenham afford the big players whilst paying off the stadium debts?

"Tottenham know they can’t afford to miss out on big signings to pay off their new stadium. Arsenal tried to cut back and it allowed teams around them to catch up and overtake them in the league.

"Tottenham saved money by not signing player last season and they now need to push on and bring in the top profile players that their stadium deserves. There’s no point in building a new stadium and now filling it with the best talent."