It is a known fact that teams with a consistent manager have always accomplished better results in the league as compared to teams where there have been constant changes. Tottenham too in the recent past were consistent when under the managership of Harry Redknapp, but after and before that, Tottenham have never given any manager a reasonable amount of time (more than 3 seasons) to settle, acclimatize to the players and the league in order to produce some concrete results. Will Mauricio Pochettino also be a one season manager or is he going to stay and help Spurs improve.
Tottenham had just ended a brilliant run under the English Manager Harry Redknapp. Qualifying for two champions leaguea s back to back, playing one and conceding one to Chelsea who finished 5th but won the competition, Spurs were left manager-less after just few games of the 2012 season after failing to agree to personal terms. In the next two years Spurs were managed by Andre Vilas Boas and Tim Sherwood, who were both sacked for underperforming, much to criticism by many fans calling either managera s termination pre mature. Tottenham looked to bring in their 6th manager in 7 seasons.
The Pochettino Effect
Mauricio Pochettino an Argentine central defender was then the manager of Southampton. After helping the saints finish in their highest ever position (8th), Tottenham who had just sacked Tim Sherwood, decided to bring the successful coach to aid Tottenham in their pursuit for Champions league football. In the past Tottenhama s biggest worry was the number of goals they seemed to concede. However Pochettinoa s biggest achievement with Southampton, although much credit must be handed to their players, was their boastful defensive record.
Pochettino initially started the season handing the captains arm band to newly recovered central defender Younnes Kaboul. The center back suffered an injury after a few games and has since never seen the light of day. Unable to find a stable defensive partner for the consistent Vertonghen, Pochetinno has experimented with Dier, Fazio and Chirices of whom the first has shown the most promise. Kyle Walker missing majority of the season has been a blow to Tottenham as majority of threats from opponents have come from that side of the pitch. Although Dre Yeldin arrived at the club in the winter break, he is yet to make a start for the club in the premier league.
Having sold Sandro and sent Holtby on loan, Tottenham yet have a midfield overload. With almost six players battling for the two deep midfield spots, none of them have been exceptional enough to have an impact in the seasona s games. Capoue and Bentaleb had started the season as a good duo. With Capoue outdoing all defensive midfielders in the first few games. Soon the injury that he suffered made Tottenham scampering for his replacement through the likes of Stambouli, Dembele and Paulinho. However an exceptional league cup game threw light on another talisman midfield player who earned his debut and soon became a regular in the first time. Exceptional amount of running coupled with the right amount of aggression and a reasonable finishing saw Ryan Mason make his Tottenham debut and also develop into a fan favourite. Pochettinoa s insistence on using academy players shows that he does have faith in the youth and we can be ensured the likes of Kevin Pritchard and Kenny McEvoy will soon play in the premier league for Tottenham.
Tottenham endured the whole of last season with two extremely inefficient strikers. Adebayor and Soldado were surely the lowest scoring striker duo in the Premier League and continue to be in the current season too. However, the introduction of academy graduate Harry Kane has seen the tides turn in an otherwise average season for Tottenham. His 20 goals has earned and saved many a games for the north London side and has even earned him an England debut. Although Pochettino did make the error of starting Kane only later in the season after the fans began chanting his name, he has kept hope in the misfiring Soldado, who is the most used substitute in the Tottenham squad. Pochettino will not see much success in the goal scoring department unless he offloads Adebayor and Soldado and signs a striker or two. With Arsenal rumoured to have almost sealed the deal with Portoa s Jackson Martinez, Pochettino would need to quickly bring in the likes of Benteke or Hernandez for Spurs.
Mauricio Pochettino has delivered to a level that qualifies as improvement, however in the books of the fans it is only a satisfactory result. As a team that was promised Champions League football, Tottenham have finished 5th more due to the poor performance of their closest rivals in 6th, Liverpool than any of the top four clubs who are at least 6 points ahead. Pochetinoa s debut season saw him take what was considered a poor team to 8th and this proves he is as capable as any great manager. Ensuring Tottenham finish one position ahead of their previous campaign is considered a good run.
Tottenham has had a comparatively poor season too. Although Spurs are the only team with three players in double digits for the season, Kanea s introduction although has given Tottenham a much needed boost, does not change the fact that Tottenham have scored almost the same numer of goals as last season. Defensively, Tottenham have been woeful, conceding 53 goals, the least in the top half of the table. As compared to last yeara s 51 goals conceded, Spurs have clearly had no change in their defensive records. Pochettino must make it a priority to fix the leaky defence if he wishes in the future to aim for any sort of Champions League football.
Rumours of Lavezzi and Konoplyanak almost on board is a sign the managers overhaul has begun. Pochetinno is aware of the dead weight in the team and is keen to get rid of it. He has also identified potential target signings and hopes to strengthen the side in all the departments, especially the defense. His rapport with some of the Southampton players might prove fruitful if he wishes to convince the likes of Schneiderling or Alderwierald to come on board. Pochettinoa s pressing style of game coupled with the high defensive line which is a conventional tactic in todaya s game combine well. If Pochettino can ensure Tottenham can survive goal onslaughts they have suffered against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, then there is no doubt they can even go on to be a title contender let alone be a Championa s League qualifier. But then again how many times have fans heard this claim.
Mauricio Pochettino has this season ensured Tottenham finish no lower than they did in the previous. This however comes with the startling fact that they finished one positions shy of their target and have no silverware this season. Nevertheless there is no reason as to why this should mean he is to be sacked. Poch has brought about positive changes which will only allow Tottenham to get better in the seasons to come. A few signings of his choice and changes in the training methods will no doubt ensure Tottenham come back as a stronger side in the season to come.