Érik Lamela departed this past summer after eight years with Tottenham Hotspur. Lamela left Spurs, joining Sevilla in a move that saw Bryan Gil heading to the Premier League side.
A few months removed from leaving the north London-based club, the 29-year-old reflects on his time during an interview with The Times. The Argentine forward discussed the Mauricio Pochettino-era at Tottenham.
Under Pochettino, Tottenham didn’t win a trophy, but they were close, even reaching the UEFA Champions League final in 2019, where they would fall to Liverpool.
“The era with Pochettino, I can say was the best, no? From when Mauricio arrived, the first season maybe wasn’t the best, but after that, we got better and better,” Lamela said.
“We were always very close to the top of the league, second or third. I enjoyed every season there, but to reach the Champions League final [in 2019] was a big success for the club.”
Lamela then discussed how the squad felt when they had learned that Tottenham had sacked Pochettino a few months later during the 2019-20 season. The forward stated that it was a decision that they didn’t expect.
“We didn’t expect it. He did an amazing job to bring the club to such a high position, to qualify for the Champions League for many years in a row and always in a position to win something,” Lamela said.
“The way he managed the team and the way we were training so hard every day, we gave our all to always improve, and it was a mental shock that we were there.”
Pochettino would eventually land with Paris Saint-Germain to begin 2021 after the French club decided to sack their manager Thomas Tuchel. Meanwhile, Tottenham is on its second tactician with Nuno Espírito Santo following the firing of José Mourinho earlier this year.