The rise and rise of Spur’s Mauricio Pochettino
“Can we see your son’s legs? He looks like a footballer.”
As bizzare and ludicrous as this may sound, this was the exact question Pochettino’s scouts asked his parents when they landed up at his house at 2am in the morning. It was a dark and lonely night, and as poetic as this may sound, Marcelo ‘El Loco’ Bielsa (Pochettino’s mentor) and his colleague Jorge Griffa drove for over 5,000 miles in a Fiat 147 searching for ‘the next big thing’. What happened then? They stumbled upon the now Spur’s manager’s house. And the rest is history!
While Pochettino’s playing prowess was developed at Rosario town’s ‘Newell’s Old Boys’ youth academy (the same academy and club that gave us Lionel Messi) he worked his way up the ranks and files and made it to England where he started coaching Southampton.
His managerial style:
PRESS PRESS And PRESS. While this may be labelled as HIS style, it does have fragments, and rather big ones of Bielsa’s pressing training all over it.
His players over at Southampton don’t hesitate in calling out his slave-driver practices.
“He makes you suffer like a dog, and at the time you hate him for it. But by the Sunday, you’re grateful, because it works.” says striker Dani Osvaldo who made the shift from Espanyol to Southampton following his Argentine coach.
Here’s a little something from his style of pressing play:
Pochettino was recently hailed as one of England’s best manager and this was called out by … *drum rolls* Sir Alex Ferguson!
He claimed that Pochettino was one of England’s best and in today’s day we see everyone comparing Pochettino’s tactics to Sir Ferguson’s.
There’s a lot of similarities too:
- Both believed in the power of the youth: Pochettino has built one of the youngest sides and have you seen what he’s done to Harry Kane and Dele Alli? Southgate, the English national team’s coach was very happy when he saw a completely seasoned Kane into the national side for World Cup Russia 2018. This was the same Kane who would find himself on the bench in the most of his U-21 National games of the game.
- Both ‘pressed’ where it hurts the most and even where it didn’t: They were both hard-core. Did we mention he made his players walk on coal and break arrows on teammate’s throats? The pundits in the footballing world claim that ‘pressing’ tactics can never last for long because you need a lot of energy and consistency for it, which fatigues players at the end. Pochettino shuns them off. The weekends game results do the rest of the talking.
- No sh*t from players: Just like Fergie, Pochettino refused to take any dissent from players and in turn bought the game to them! PSG, Neymar, Cavani and Unai Emery, are you listening?
- Spurs Mantra- Play like someone stole your football and you have to play to win it back!: They are easily the dirtiest side on the pitch and also the team to have committed the most number of fouls. Eh well, you win some, you lose some, and the rest you just break! – Tottenham Hotspur Dirty trick #57
Here’s a manager that was on Chelsea and United’s radar. In fact, the reds at Old Trafford regret having signed Mourinho instead of the Argentine. Score, spurs!
He also signed a 5-year deal with Tottenham. Looks like here’s here to stay!