Tag Archives: Mauricio Pochettino

#PochIn #PochOut #ShakeItAllAbout

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Do I want Pochettino sacked?

No. I do not.

My Twitter account has said “Pochettino Out” since the day he was appointed. It was a bit of a joke.

But that joke is not funny anymore. Some real accounts are popping up suggesting that the guy be sacked, and they are proving divisive.

True to say that I was underwhelmed by his appointment and not quite sure why he had been given the job.

But his reputation was glowing and growing (and he wasn’t Tim Sherwood). So I conceded to those far better positioned than I to judge, and set my own goals for what I expected to see from his first season.

While I don’t want the manager sacked,  I get irritated when I get sent stuff like this:

“We have a strong future” can be categorised with “we’re heading in the right direction” as a meaningless statement without convincing supporting evidence.

Is it because he’s blooding young players? His transfer record? His tactical acumen? His man management? His choice of captains?

What have we seen from Pochettino this season that suggests he will make Spurs a top four team (with the handicap of having only the sixth highest wage bill) in the next couple of seasons?

In my opinion, he’s done OK, but no more than that.

He has, however, done enough to earn a second season on the basis of a handful of quality performances and just on the basis of reasonableness – a young manager who has shown some promise, should get proper time to succeed.

More than anything, I’m interested in what he does with Paul Mitchell over the summer while, at the same time, Daniel Levy will have to work hard to move on the players Pochettino does not want anymore.

This could include players that Pochettino asked for/agreed to last summer but does not play – or plays with little success.

So, once again, a big summer for Spurs and Mitchell might be the wild card in it all.

Is there some method, somewhere, to Levy’s madness?

Unless Daniel Levy is cackling away like a madman in his 100% leather-bound office, while putting the finishing touches to Frank de Boer’s managerial contract, it seems obvious that Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino is about to leave the family-friendly south coast for a turbulent sixteen months in charge of Tottenham.

Pochettino v Owen, 2002

He’s the guy who brushed against Michael Owen in 2002.

I think it’s fair to say the news has been broadly received with a mixture of bewilderment and concern by Spurs fans.  At least the promotion of Tim Sherwood brought with it a sizable scoop of amusement to temper the negativity.

True, Levy never promised us a world-class manager like the Football Association of Ireland did shortly before Steve Staunton was appointed. But when names like Louis Van Gaal and Frank de Boer were said to be in contention, we at least expected to see someone you could label “a winner” take the hot seat.

Pochettino (who I guess should be added to my browser dictionary now) has done a decent job at Southampton albeit by inheriting and motivating someone else’s players.  He improved Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw so much that they are going to the World Cup and probably going to be playing for Champions League teams next season. He continued to get good service – and thirteen league goals – out of Rickie Lambert (another English World Cup squad member) and got a fifteen goal return from Jay Rodriguez.

If Levy is looking at this as evidence of that Pochettino is the man who can take a sixth place team and turn them in to a fourth place team, then maybe I can see that. Perhaps, for Levy, the key for 2014 is saving two high-profile transfer flops (and Spanish speakers) Soldado and Lamela, inspiring genuinely talented players like Paulinho, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen that their future can be bright at White Hart Lane and getting the best out of wild cards like Sandro, Dembele and Andros Townsend.

Spurs squad is very strong and the failure of last season’s class should be shared among Director of Something, Franco Baldini, Levy and the two equally-guilty managers Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas.

There must be something in the Levy strategy that has put Pochettino over the top and left four-time title-winning manager Frank de Boer scratching his head.