As a manager, the toughest task is to bring a team that has been struggling for years out of the jive. So was the case with Tottenham during 2014, who were struggling to find a right steward who would handle their sinking ship.
Tottenham Hotspur was a team in dire straits that had changed 10 managers over the course of 12 years before buying an underdog from Southampton, who has revolutionalised the way people talk about Spurs. The condition of Spurs was as bad as it could be with the Lilywhites being able to finish in the top four only two times in the last decade. And who would have thought that their success would be deemed to an extremely young manager.
Mauricio Pochettino started his managerial career in 2009 working as a third coach for Espanyol and rose to prominence at great speed. And after a successful spell at Southampton, he was brought to London for a five-year-contract in 2014.
Pochettino, as we all know, has been the follower of youth since start. Even in his first game at Spurs as a manager, he gave younger players like Eric Dier, Nabil Bentaleb and Erik Lamela a start in his lineup. Even the rise of Harry Kane would not have been possible if it was not for Pochettino. The Argentine manager chose a young Englishman over extremely talented and talked about forward Roberto Soldado (Spurs brought him in from Valencia with a view of turning the shape of Tottenham’s attack).
The Argentine, however, had different views in his mind and created a Spurs squad that no one would have dreamt of. Though, Pochettino’s predecessor Sherwood Harry Kane from the academy and gave him a debut – Mauricio backed him to lead the line.
In his first season at Spurs, Pochettino promised big results in the future by taking his team into the finals of League Cup and also finishing 5th in that domestic league season. The next year was much better for Spurs who were on the verge of winning the silverware until they drew 2-2 to Chelsea on May 2 and gave away the trophy to Leicester City. The North Londoners finished 3rd and this was their best ever finish since 1990.
In 2016/17, Pochettino helped Spurs endure a season-long unbeaten home run which they achieved since 1964-65. But even this was not enough for him to win the silverware as his squad finished second behind Chelsea with 86 points. And cometh the year 2018, Pochettino created history by becoming first ever Spurs manager to win 100 matches with the club and he is the third quickest in the Premier League to achieve this feat.
Pochettino has built a team that would go on for a long time and the likes of Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane are just a testimony of what the manager has been able to achieve. In terms of consistency too, he created a Spurs team that finished in top four every time in the last four seasons. The Argentine even took Spurs to an unparalleled level, taking them into their first ever Champions League final.
Under his reign, Spurs’ worldwide fan base grew massively and footballing fans started considering Spurs as more of a threat than an underdog. Pochettino may have not won a silverware with the club but has surely made them one capable of doing so. And maybe not in his first term as a manager, he deserves a trophy the next time he manages Spurs again.
You’d have to give Pochettino credits, to not only initiate move to the new stadium but also operated at optimum level with low Tottenham transfer budget provided by Daniel Levy, unlike the kitty Mourinho is to get if Tottenham’s latest transfer rumours are to be believed.
The ex-Southampton boss, who spent more than five years at Spurs, told BT Sport: “It was an amazing journey that finished the way no one wanted it to finish.
“But deep in my heart I am sure our paths will cross again. From the day I left the club, my dream is to be back one day and to try to finish the work we didn’t finish. We were so close to winning the Premier League and Champions League.”
“Deep inside I want to go back because the fans are so special. Maybe in five years, maybe in 10 years, but before I die I want to manage Tottenham,” he said.
“I want to feel what it means to win one title with Tottenham because the fans are amazing, all the love we received was amazing and that is a good opportunity to pay back all the love they showed us from day one.”
Pochettino has so much of managerial football left in him and I can assure you that if this guy comes back to London, he’ll be : “The biggest managerial talent of Tottenham.”