Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino is a key figure in Tottenham’s progress over the recent years. He seems to have a strong influence over the players in improving them but also supporting them, like a father figure. This meant Spurs were able to keep hold of all their key players in the most recent transfer window despite rumours of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona wanting to sign the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen to name a few. Something in the past years Spurs weren’t able to do under previous managers, after they lost Bale in 2013, who was there best player at the time.
Pochettino’ influence has also been reflected through summer signings being lured towards Tottenham over other Premier League rivals. Fernando Llorente is an example of this, who Spurs signed from Swansea last month for just £14 million. The striker spoke out at how he rejected joining Premier League Champions, Chelsea for Tottenham after Pochettino’ influential discussion over the phone on Transfer Deadline Day even though Llorente knew he’d be back up to two-time Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.
‘At the very last minute Pochettino called me and convinced me. The Tottenham project is impressive. They have done very well in the last few years and I think I fit very well with this project. I think I can help them a lot.’
‘I’m very happy because at the end everything came out perfect. Pochettino was someone very important, without doubt, I really want to give him my best.’
Fernando Llorente isn’t the only player in recent months who has decided to join Tottenham due to the influence of the Spurs boss as Argentina’s Under 20’s international Juan Foyth snubbed Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in order to work under Pochettino.
The defender, Foyth, revealed how Mauricio’ influence convinced him to join the Lilywhite this summer as he is impressed on how youngers get given their chances.
‘He told me to go, train and that I would be involved I would play. He also told me what the club was like, what job idea it had. It’s a club that bets on the young and I think I’m going to have a chance to play. I also spoke with Mauricio Pochettino and I liked what he said. It was what helped me decide that Tottenham was the right place to continue my career.’
As well as Mauricio Pochettino’ influence off the pitch in bringing in new faces, he also has a strong influence on the pitch. Keeping the promising youngsters, not only on the ground but also at the club. Tottenham star Dele Alli was signed by Pochettino from MK Dons in 2015 for just an initial fee of £5 million in the January Transfer Window. He was loaned back to MK Dons for the rest of the season before joining up with Pochettino and Spurs. While at MK Dons, Dele won the Young Player of the Year at the Football League Awards. After just two seasons at Spurs Dele then won the PFA Young Player of the Year two years running. He was a promising star in the making and soon became a vital player in the Tottenham squad.
But, with his fantastic performances and talent, made more and more clubs want to sign the future star. This seemed to take an effect on the player, as on the pitch he became a target with other teams which seemed to fuelled his temper. In 2016, Alli received a three match ban for punching West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob in the stomach. This ended his Premier League season, but this is where Pochettino stepped in to defend the youngster.
‘He’s very disappointed, in football it happens. He knows he made a mistake. He was wound up, he was fouled three second before. It’s a bad tackle, it deserved the sending off. He knows that. That action always can happen in football.’
‘Now he’s tried to move on and improve. All that he achieved in short period is because he’s a special player, a special boy. He has unbelievable personality and character. Because he’s very passionate about playing football.’
This seemed to be the change of Dele, as Pochettino influenced him, supported him and defended him, to help Dele control himself and use his temper in the correct manner making him an even stronger player. At the start of the 2016/17 season, Alli changed his kit name, removing his surname due to family separation in his early years. He seemed to then be a changed man for the better. He went on to win Premier League Player of the Month in January after scoring eight goals in six games. Pochettino then continued to praise Dele. The change in his control over his temper was tested after Shelvey’ challenge on him in August 2017 who received a straight red. Newcastle had provoked Dele all game but Dele managed to remain calm and focus on getting 3 points, and therefore ending with the last laugh!
‘He’s mature enough now to accept sometimes what happens on the pitch, but he is so calm, he is so brave. – that’s important. Last season, we talked a lot about that, how we need to behave and improve and learn.’
Pochettino is a manager who never gives up on his players and will push every player to their limit to help everyone achieve their potential and most importantly give them a chance especially young home-grown English stars, similarly shown through the progress of Harry Winks, Kyle Walker-Peters and also, Eric Dier. When the current Spurs boss arrived at Tottenham, Dier didn’t really have a set position, he was played at centre-back and right back but still lacked game time. But, Pochettino believed he was more suited for the defensive midfield role rather than at the back. Since playing in Eric’ new position, he has shone and also, been repeatedly called up for the England squad, something he may have struggled doing if he was not moved into midfield.
Furthermore, when the magic man, Pochettino took charge of Tottenham from Tim Sherwood in 2014, Spurs had finished in 6th place, of which more was expected from the Lilywhites. In Pochettino’ first season, he managed to finish in 5th place, an improvement from the season before, however it was just the start for Mauricio who was trying to implicate his tactical philosophy. The following season Pochettino began to show signs of dramatic improvement as Spurs finished in a respectable 3rd place and secured an automatic Champions League place something they hadn’t done for years. They had been in the title race, which surprised many pundits as they always seem to lack in giving Spurs the credit they sometimes deserve.
Further progress was made by Pochettino and Spurs in the following season as they took the title challenge with Chelsea right to the wire and finished in a respectable 2nd place, securing another automatic Champions League spot and also, finishing above their rivals Arsenal. Pochettino’ tactical philosophy became to show extreme progress and something that many started to hail. Players started to want to join the club over rivals to play under Pochettino and players didn’t want to leave for bigger European Clubs, such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich because of Mauricio’ effect and what they believe he can achieve with this club and at the new stadium.
The influence of Pochettino really starts to reflect in the recent stats from Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood in 2013/14 season to 2016/17 season under Mauricio:
Looking at the stats even though they didn’t do as well in Europe after being knocked out in the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino definitely took Spurs closer to their first trophy since 2008. Finishing closely in second place in the league and being unluckily knocked out in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley, which seems to not be Spurs’ favourite place to play.
But, it definitely shows that Mauricio has Tottenham on the rise again. Each player is improving season on season as well as the team is showing better results each game it certainly demonstrates how Mauricio Pochettino is the key in bringing back success to Tottenham Hotspur! And lets hope his hard work pays off shown with a new trophy!
‘HE IS DEFINITELY MAGIC, YOU KNOW!’
Thank you for reading! #COYS