Mauricio Pochettino has revealed how he carried the burden of Tottenham’s last-day collapse through to pre-season, when he held a meeting to tell his players he wanted to kill them.
Spurs succumbed to a 5-1 loss at Newcastle United to slip to third at the end of a 2015-16 campaign that at one stage held the promise of a maiden Premier League title.
With many of Pochettino’s squad heading away on international duty, the Argentine had to wait before delivering a dressing-down following their pre-season tour of Australia.
“When we came back from Australia, we talked a little bit about the end of last season,” he said.
“The players needed to hear from the manager my feelings, how I felt after the game and after the season, because there was no time to share it then.
“I explained my point of view, my feelings and it was a very good meeting, between each other, to share our feelings.
“I wanted to kill all of them and I wanted to kill myself too. I told them that. I just said ‘if I had the opportunity to kill you, then I would have killed everyone.’
“I am very honest with them and they are very honest with me. There is a very good relationship.
“Maybe I am the first manager to start pre-season with this kind of meeting. But it’s a good point because always I believe that we need to use our experience to improve.
“It’s important to take something from every experience and you always need to find the positives.”
Tottenham take on Everton in their opening game on Saturday, heading to Goodison Park having closed pre-season with a 6-1 win over Inter.