By Kolawole Babatunde (@iamkoolkola)
There’s something about Mauricio Pochettino and his job as Spurs manager. Popular opinion is that his is one of the easiest jobs amongst the Premier League’s top six managers.
But there’s the absence of pressure to win a Premier League title. With a team like his, with many talented footballers, this irks rival football fans. It’s suggested that the media uses a different standard to measure and judge what stands as success for the North London side under Pochettino.
In a recent interview with Daily Mail, he said,
“I want to win the Premier League. It’s our own pressure, our stress that we try to win. Some clubs create a different pressure. For some clubs it’s only about winning title, winning the Premier League or the top four.”
He went on further to say,
“For us when we arrived at Tottenham it was completely different. The objective was different. Now, after five years the club is on another level but the way we operate hasn’t changed.”
It’s quite evident from the statement above. The standards are different from what we presumed.
And this begs two questions
- Is Poch responsible for not winning a trophy?
- What was the standard at Tottenham when he took over?
When Mauricio Pochettino took over the Lilywhites they were a struggling team. They were a side struggling to have an identity. He was the 10th manager appointed in the space of 12 years. Daniel Levy wanted a young and vibrant manager to provide the club with a sense of direction and a clear strategy on the way forward. Andre Villas-Boas had just failed in that regard.
Pochettino’s reign almost followed that path due to some reasons. Most notable was the reluctance of some senior players to accept his methods. But, two young players came to his rescue on a significant day in his Spurs career.
Spurs were 1-0 down against Aston Villa. He had earlier told his staff: “Pack your bags tonight, tomorrow we’re going home.” He expected the sack after defeat. However, Nacer Chadli got the equalizer. Harry Kane (who would later be his most important player) then stepped up to score a free-kick that secured the win.
It was a turning point for the Argentine.
Poch decided it was time to stick with young players ready to adapt to fresh ideas. The likes of Adebayor, Soldado, Paulinho, Kaboul, and Lennon were all shown the exit door. Younger players like Harry Kane, Eriksen, Dier rose to take charge. Dele Alli also arrived from MK Dons.
From there on, his project took shape and the rise began. It was obvious the team now had a manager ready to key into what they wanted.
Pochettino should take credit for all he has done with the team in term of development and molding them in world class beasts. However, it is time to go a step further and achieve with them. The lack of silverware in a team with talents such as theirs begs questions.
It could have spanned from the non-chalancy of the manager towards domestic trophies. For a manager that has never won silverware in his managerial career, he needs to set his priority right when it comes to trophies.
Pochettino on the FA Cup: "It's not paramount to Tottenham's progression as a club."
2018 : "Is it going to change our life? I don’t believe so."
2017: "Our objective is to try to win the Premier League or Champions League. Two real trophies."
Should he take it more seriously? pic.twitter.com/QUfRT8oxbU
— Coral (@Coral) January 4, 2019
His dismissal of winning the domestic cups as a mark of progress raises questions. about the motivation behind the project he is building. Pep Guardiola, in all his glory, had to settle for the League Cup first before going on to win the league. A team that wants to be the best, fights for every trophy available. It is the reward to show for hard work.
In a recent interview, the manager highlighted the need to spend to compete.
However, on a closer look, one would say he has all the ingredients to succeed. Few teams can boast of a 30-goal per season striker. Not a lot have the starting goalkeeper of a World Cup winning team in their ranks. The level in which the likes of Dele Alli and Eriksen have been over the years deserves a trophy.
Claudio Ranieri, Roberto Martinez, Alex McLeish and Harry Redknapp won 4 trophies together in English football (1 Premier League, 2 FA Cup's and 1 League Cup) spending less than £200m combined. Meanwhile Pochettino is out here complaining about needing £300m to win a trophy. https://t.co/SXWPFFJXBK
— WAllegri_SZN (@WhyAlwaysLukaku) January 7, 2019
The bottling of the 2015/2016 Premier League title race to finish as 3rd and the FA cup semi-final loss to Chelsea all points to a team and manager that lacks experience in securing a silverware. Citing wins against Real Madrid and other top teams as the evidence of progress is not enough. It is way below par for a team that possesses such talented and consistent players.
It is time Mauricio Pochettino delivers a trophy!
Author: For The Goal
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