Yesterday, Tottenham Hotspur confirmed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach, replacing Tim Sherwwod on a five-year contract. It’s an appointment that should excite Spurs fans, and although nothing is ever assured, they do have one of the best and most promising candidates who was available to them at this time.
Spurs initially wanted Louis Van Gaal to replace Sherwood, but Van Gaal unsurprisingly chose to sign on at Manchester United instead, and given the circumstances, Pochettino is a very good appointment by Daniel Levy. There is risk involved, but sometimes the risk is worth it. Barcelona had to take a chance on Pep Guardiola, as did Liverpool with Brendan Rodgers.
Arsenal did it all those years ago with Arsene Wenger, and even Everton gave Roberto Martinez an opportunity after he was relegated with Wigan Athletic — everybody needs their break somewhere.
Obviously, before eventually turning to Van Gaal, United took a chance on David Moyes, which did not pay off. Sometimes, though, it does pay to back your judgement and take a chance on a young, promising manager/coach because he may just be a gem. Whether Pochettino will prove to be a standout head coach in the Premier League, only time will tell, but so far the signs look good considering his career to date.
Pochettino did an outstanding job at Espanyol, keeping the club afloat in La Liga, and he did so under financial restraints until he left the club by mutual consent in 2012. Espanyol were bottom of the league at that time, although without Pochettino, they may have been there a lot sooner than they were.
At Southampton, Pochettino adapted to the Premier League with relative ease, and the Saints went from strength to strength during his tenure. It is easy to say he was fortunate to be at a club with a lot of young and talented players because so was his predecessor, Nigel Adkins, who did not garner the same level of results from those players that Pochettino ultimately did.
Pochettino encourages an attractive style of play, where his teams press for the ball very high up the pitch and are assured and composed while in possession themselves. Teams who are attractive to watch usually find it difficult to marry that up with a solid defense, but Pochettino managed to mold his Southampton team into exactly that; a balanced team efficient at both attacking and defending.
Spurs fans should be happy they now have a young, promising head coach who will encourage the attractive play that they like so much. He also just might get the best out of his compatriot Erik Lamela, who Tottenham bought for £30 million last summer as a rising star at Roma, but received virtually no contribution from during the season. Lamela may still prove to be a star in the future, and perhaps Pochettino can now bring that out of him.
Contrary to some beliefs, Pochettino does speak clear English too, although he chooses not to in public press conferences and interviews. Overall, Pochettino has a lot going for him, and the Argentine will definitely create a Tottenham team which will be attractive to watch next season. Whether they are successful or not, however, will ultimately decide how successful he proves to be at White Hart Lane.