​Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is adamant that he is the man behind the highly effective formation tactic which has seen Antonio Conte's Chelsea practically run away with the Premier League this season.

Conte has reaped all the plaudits for the way his side have performed from having a highly flexible centre of the park. 

However Pochettino, speaking in an interview, via Evening Standard, claims that he is the innovator behind the adaptable formation, stating that he introduced the system, which many clubs have since adopted, to the Premier League.

Stoke City v Chelsea - Premier League

The Argentine said: "People say now Chelsea changed the system, but no we played always the three in possession. Out of possession, Eric [Dier] moved in front and without the ball he tried to press and play like a midfielder."

Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama have marshalled Spurs' midfield for a majority of the 2016-17 season. The defensive qualities in both of their competent games has seen a thriving fluidity between the relationship with the defence and the midfield, making them almost impenetrable.

"I created a system that [Dier] felt comfortable in." Pochettino claimed.

"He played like a midfielder without the ball, but with the ball he was a third centre back. You can see in possession he dropped in between the centre backs or between the full back and the centre back, and always we play with three.

"Then we signed Wanyama and played both, but we had some injuries like Toby [Alderweireld] and Jan [Vertonghen], and Eric was the perfect player to play as a centre back. That is a good thing for the player, the possibility to play in different positions and do well in every one."


Spurs have certainly benefited from the system this season, proving themselves as a versatile, potent outfit. Pochettino's men have only conceded 21 goals this term domestically.

Tottenham finished third last season after being pipped to second spot by fierce north London rivals Arsenal. This season, with Wanyama being favoured over Moussa Dembele, Spurs impressively find themselves sitting behind Chelsea in second. Conte's resurgent Blues are currently seven points ahead in the race for the Premier League title.