To even question Pochettino’s position at Spurs is an insult to the man who has done more for our club than any previous manager of the last forty years. Martin Jol may have set the wheels in motion, Andre Villas-Boas may have got the best out of Bale and Harry Redknapp may have given us a taste of Champions League football but all of them combined have not done half as much as Mauricio Pochettino has done for our great, but frustrating club. He may not have won us a trophy yet, but let’s face it, when was the last time a Spurs fan mentioned George Graham or Juande Ramos in a positive light?
Pochettino has a role at Spurs that is bigger than that of just a manager, he’s a creator, a thinker, a man who has changed the course of history at our club for the better. It’s very easy to forget that our last manager before Pochettino was walking-banter-magnet Tim Sherwood; a man who was more famous for wearing a gilet than possessing any tactical nous. Pochettino holds himself like a statesman; despite having arguably the toughest season of his managerial career Poch hasn’t moaned to the media, he hasn’t stormed out of press conferences, he’s squared up to Mike Dean, but let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted to do that?
It’s hard to conceive of another manager who would have been able to transform our club in such a short period of time with the limited resources Tottenham have to offer. Mourinho would’ve stormed out by now complaining that Levy wouldn’t give him millions to spend on players that’ll be on the bench in nine months’ time and Guardiola only bothers with teams where he’s inheriting a selection of the world’s best players at any one time. Pochettino joined Tottenham at a time when we still had players like Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Naughton in the starting eleven, now look at us, genuine world-beaters like Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dele Alli in our team. Poch has worked miracles with a shoe-string budget and managed to turn Tottenham into a team that doesn’t look out of place in a Champions League Quarter-Final.
The problem facing Pochettino is that he has almost become a victim of his own success; when he joined Spurs the aim was to take the club into the new ground consistently competing for Champions League places. It only took Poch two seasons and he’d secured Champions League football for Tottenham, and unlike every other Premier League manager at Spurs he also managed to maintain top-four finishes and managed to take Tottenham from consistent fifth place finishes to Champions League regulars. With this new found success, came familiarity; Tottenham fans now treat top four as something that should be achieved each season and not something we should hope for. This is why Pochettino is so important to Tottenham, not only has he changed the style of play, he has changed the way we view the club; Spurs fans now feel at home in the Champions League and dream of feasibly winning the Premier League as oppose to dreaming about narrowly beating some South London Tourists to fourth place.
Pochettino has done so well as Tottenham manager that he almost made Enic look like they could run a football club. Before Pochettino the club had meandered from short-term manager to short-term manager, always trying new things without them ever actually working, but Pochettino changed this. For a period of time, things seemed to be working, the final season at White Hart Lane was the best we’ve had in a very long time, but then Levy and Enic decided to put financial restrictions on a manager who is arguably the most talented man to take control of Tottenham since the great Bill Nicholson. This is where the problems at Tottenham have come from; outside of Pochettino’s control. Pochettino couldn’t plan for all the stadium delays, he couldn’t plan for the stadium being so over-budget that Levy could offer nothing other than the chance to maybe sign Jack Grealish in the summer. Yet there’s still hope for Spurs, we may just manage to battle our way to a top four finish and we may just be able to finally purchase some players this summer, and things may just turn around. Pochettino has stuck with our club when he could have taken any number of top European jobs but he decided to stay at Tottenham because he believes in the project and he believes in Tottenham, and our fans would do well to remember just how far this man has taken us.
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