The FA sacked Sam Allardyce after just one match in charge. The England hot-seat is now waiting for a manager who can finally bring success to a failing team. To change this there must be a Mauricio Pochettino England revolution. In terms of his tactics, selections and managerial ability he is ranked as one of the best in the world.
Pochettino England Manager: Revolution
Tactics and System
England have been far too conservative under the likes of Roy Hodgson and Fabio Capello. For example, the adherence to the 4-4-2 diamond formation has been a touchstone that many managers returned to. However, it had very little effect on the success of the England side. In order to change this system, it must be updated to Pochettino’s ideology at Tottenham. This is a system of high pressure that employs a high line and aims to disrupt the possession of the opposition.
The benefits of a high line is to solve the problem of dwelling at the back. Whilst retaining the ball is important, England must be much more direct with their play. Therefore, this high line pushes the whole team up. Against a high quality opponent such as Spain, this high pressing terrorises the possession based teams. Any team given space and time will be able to keep the ball. But, if the back four is constantly harried, playing a simple ball forward may result in a sliced clearance. Football is a sport that revolves around time of possession and by limiting the time the opposition has the ball, victory is more likely.
However, the drawbacks of this system are mainly connected to the personnel. A high line requires impeccable positioning from the defence. In addition, defenders must be fast enough when long balls are played in behind them. This means that aging centre-backs like Phil Jagielka must be discarded from the squad. In general, Pochettino’s success is in relying on younger players who will generally have more energy than more ageing opposition.
At Tottenham, Pochettino has shown great promise in his selections. This is particularly in terms of youth players, where he has fielded the youngest Premier League team this season. This could translate well into his potential England career, as instead of the traditional core of older players making the squad there will be younger players getting the chance to prove themselves. Whilst Hodgson’s Euro 2016 was the youngest since 1958 with an average age of under-26, building upon these foundations is crucial. For example, Marcus Rashford was selected for the squad, but only featured in a brief cameo against Iceland. Promising talents such as these should be given priority over seemingly declining players such as Wayne Rooney.
Any substitution is a gamble but Pochettino is making full use of his subs. Some recent successes have included Harry Winks‘ first Champions League appearance as well as Marcus Edward’s first team debut. These positive substitutions are perhaps easier to make considering Spurs’ were in winning positions in both matches, but they are still promising. Even without these substitutions, young teams featured in both the EFL Cup and Champions League. However, one criticism is the lateness of some substitutions. Often, the manager can leave it too late for a sub to impact upon a match. This means that tired legs may possibly lead to conceding a goal.
Pochettino must use substitutions earlier if he takes the England helm. Whilst he can rely on his Tottenham team as one of the fittest in the league, the national squad will incorporate varying levels of fitness. By making subs earlier, not only will it limit the impact of fatigue but it also will allow substitutes to prove themselves worthy of a start. Competition is a vital aspect of any squad so Pochettino must ensure this is high for the best national squad.
Inspiring success is vital to becoming the England manager. Pochettino motivates the players well at Tottenham, with very rare lackluster performances. His half time guidance ensures his teams second half performance is improved. Having a manager that can push the team further is vital for a fledgling national side. There is a great deal of progress that the national outfit needs to make before challenging for titles. Pochettino can be the manager to guide them to this success.