Why Tottenham’s thumping win over Crystal Palace proves Mauricio Pochettino was right to soften stance

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Mauricio Pochettino has been forced to break the habit of a lifetime this season.

It is no secret that the Tottenham Hotspur manager has a stubborn streak. He is autocratic. Uncompromising. And much like Marcelo Bielsa and Sir Alex Ferguson, the two managers he respects above all others, he has long maintained that any kind of doubt or dissent – expressed by absolutely any player – is always to the detriment of the rest of the team.

That is precisely the reason why the players he fell out with in the early stages of his managerial career never seemed to stick around for very long. Think Dani Osvaldo at Southampton. Or Emmanuel Adebayor. Or Kyle Walker. If they dared to disagree with their manager, they were shown the door.

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But Tottenham’s well-documented struggle to offload a series of uncommitted players has somewhat forced Pochettino to soften his stance. Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama were all determined to force moves away this summer. All failed. And so, after some time on the naughty step while the club waited for the tardy European transfer window to finally close, players who were previously at loggerheads with Pochettino have been reintegrated into the first-team squad.

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