In the era of Billionaire Arab, Russian and American owners funding the top sides’ transfer dealings, whilst blowing most teams out of the water with their financial muscle, Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham are a breath of fresh air.
In recent years under Pochettino, Spurs have deployed a successful policy of buying young, relatively cheap prospects. They would then develop them into top-level footballers. As well as this, Pochettino has also gotten the best out of some of the players he inherited when he joined. A lot of these were perceived to have failed or were mediocre to average.
Mauricio Pochettino is Priceless to Spurs
In the 2017 summer transfer window, Tottenham had a smaller net spend than five Premier League clubs. This season, after 11 games the North London outfit are joint second with Manchester United. The Red Devils spent over £100m more than Spurs in the summer transfer window.
Last summer was not an anomaly. In the 2016 summer window they were outspent by four teams and finished second. Then in 2015, Tottenham were again outspent by five clubs but finished third. How can Tottenham compete with these financial handicaps? It is because of Mauricio Pochettino.
Player Development Under Mauricio Pochettino
When Pochettino joined Tottenham during the summer of 2014, one of the first decisions he made at the club was to give left back Danny Rose a new contract. Many fans didn’t agree with this decision and it sparked a massive social media backlash among Tottenham fans.
Fast forward three years and the Yorkshire man is the undisputed first choice England left-back, despite having no caps when Pochettino arrived. He is also the subject to reported interest from both Manchester clubs.
Rose is not alone in being transformed by Pochettino. Fellow full-back Kyle Walker was widely considered a talented but extremely error prone player during his early years at Spurs,. However, last summer Walker was transferred to Manchester City for a fee in the region of £50m.
Other players who have thrived under the Argentine include Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, who both shined in the clubs recent victory over Real Madrid. Additionally, Harry Winks, who has recently been called up to the England squad, is another Pochettino development.
The Grass is not Always Greener
Pochettino’s performances at Southampton are what attracted Tottenham to the Argentine. He helped the south coast side get the best out of a number of Southampton players. Those players later went onto play for perceived ‘bigger teams’.
To date, of his Southampton side, only Adam Lallana and Nathanial Clyne have had a degree of success. The likes of Ricky Lambert, Jose Fonte, Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and Dejan Lovren have all struggled since moving onto different managers.
Shaw stated recently that he’d like to play under Pochettino once again. Additionally, Lovren was considered one of the Premier League’s top centre-backs under Pochettino. The Croation has struggled under Jurgen Klopp, though. This was summed up when he was hauled off after thirty minutes in their recent encounter with Tottenham.
Is it coincidental that so many players have struggled under different managers or does Pochettino have a good knack of getting players to play above their own ability? The two most successful players to come out of his time at Southampton, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama, have both followed him to North London.
Of the past thirty player to make their England debuts, fifteen have played under Pochettino. Eleven have also gotten their first cap directly under the Argentine. Pochettino’s dedication to youth is to be commended and in comparison to other managers, he certainly makes the most out of what he is given.
He has stated that he may be interested in the England role in the future. This should come as music to the ears to everyone in England.
The only thing missing from Pochetino’s CV at the moment is a major trophy, but considering the job he is currently doing at Tottenham, not many would bet against him winning one soon.