<
>

Mauricio Pochettino calls Tottenham's summer transfer inactivity 'brave'

play
Who's going to win the Premier League? (1:27)

The Premier League is back! Who are the bookies' favorites to lift the trophy in 2019? (1:27)

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham have shown bravery by declining to sign any players this summer and focusing instead on retaining their top stars at a time when the club is investing heavily in their infrastructure.

The Argentine boss said at the end of last season that Spurs were in a situation where they needed to "be brave and take risks."

That was widely interpreted as a request for big signings, and Pochettino promptly committed to a new five-year contract.

But three months on the north Londoners have finished the summer without bringing in a single player -- a first in the Premier League since the transfer window was introduced 15 years ago.

Nonetheless, Pochettino insists he is happy with the situation.

"I am responsible for what I told you [in May] or what I tell you, but I cannot be responsible for what you believe that I wanted to tell you," he said.

"I don't want to be sarcastic and ironic. What the club is doing, is showing, it is so brave.

"Building a new training ground, then finishing the lodge this summer was a massive investment. [So is] building a stadium that is nearly £1 billion -- that is true, don't believe £400 million.

"With Brexit it is worse because the cost is 30 percent more -- that is a drama, I feel sorry for the English people -- and then keeping the best players, for me [that] is to be brave.

"Maybe in the mind of everyone they will say 'oh Tottenham didn't sign anyone', but to sign for the sake of signing? It is better to keep [what you have].

"It maybe looks bad [not to sign anyone] because of the perception and because of the history of football, but that is our decision -- to keep the best players and to keep the squad. It's a brave decision."

Pochettino continued: "It was a strange transfer market because until England was out [of the World Cup] no-one was moving. Then also with Europe having more time to do deals, it was all so quiet and relaxed. It was difficult for everybody and for us too."

Asked if Tottenham's players understand the lack of new arrivals, Pochettino responded: "They don't need to understand. They need to give their best. They need to allow us to manage. They need to try to be focused and ready to compete and give their best when I decide to put them on the pitch, and then be professional on the training ground.

"Who manages and decides the way to act is the board, and it is not the players. If all the players today are thinking about a collective target, we can be competitive. If we have all the squad thinking as individuals rather than as a collective game, you cannot achieve what you want and cannot succeed. That is the key this season."

Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele were all expected to leave this summer, and they still could if they are willing to move abroad. Indeed, Rose is talking to European clubs including Schalke about a loan move.

But Pochettino has warned that he will demand full commitment from anyone who is still at the club after the continental window closes.

"It is human nature that you always look after yourself," he said. "Now is the moment to change your reality. Then you need to change your mind and think about the team and the collective.

"I am the boss and if I expect you to do something then you need to provide it. You need to show your commitment, from the pitch, from the bench or sometimes from outside. That's what being professional means.

"We are always open to finding the solution when it is possible. But when it is not possible, why create a problem that can only disturb or not help the club and your teammates?"