Pochettino Pick Me Up – Tottenham Preview
Spurs have had more managers than Lindsay Lohan has had relationships but they seem to have finally settled down on a decent choice with Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentine impressed sufficiently enough at Southampton for Spurs’ supremo, Daniel Levy, to make him his latest anointed ‘chosen one’. Whether the former Espanyol coach lives up to expectations remains to be seen but the signs are good.
What Spurs have not lacked in the last few years has been a poor squad. Before even spending any money, Pochettino will have a pool of players brimming with talent at his disposal.
Out of the near £100 million spent last summer, only Christian Eriksen could have been seen as a qualified success, though, with various managerial changes constantly affecting squad balance. The likes of Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue and Paulinho woefully under performed last season.
Spurs have had a brilliant pre-season so far, though, with the likes of Lamela & Soldado thriving under the direction of Pochettino.
The Argentine’s fluid, attacking style of football suits this particular squad down to the ground.
If they lack in any particular department, though, it’s the defence. Full back is a slight weakness with the likes of Kyle Naughton and, less so, Kyle Walker not quite good enough, whilst the centre-halves can, arguably, be improved upon.
Everywhere else, though, and Pochettino has numerous options at his behest and before the season is out, will surely have signed more quality to supplement his squad.
Quite obviously, Pochettino has used pre-season to gauge the quality in his squad before making any major signings. Whilst Spurs have thrived over the practise games in attack, they’ve been very open and conceded numerous goals. The signings he has made will back that up with Swansea’s young full back, Ben Davies, and goalkeeper Michel Vorm making the move to White Hart Lane.
Reports have linked Pochettino with his former Southampton defensive midfielder, Morgan Schneiderlin, with the French international keen on a move. Villarreal’s central defender Mateo Mussachio has also been linked whilst a move for USA right back Deandre Yedlin is in the offing, too.
It’s quite clear where the Argentine manager is trying to improve his squad and sensibly so. Going forward Spurs have a treasure trove of attacking options. If he can solidify his defence, Spurs will have a fearsome squad to contend with.
In terms of the title, out of the top seven, Spurs are my dark horses. Pochettino is a fantastic manager with a clear vision and direction on how he wants the game played – something successive Spurs’ squads have lacked in recent years.
If he can add some solid defensive options to complement the attacking options at his disposal, Spurs could be very, very dangerous. They will have Europa League football to contend with but with such a formidable pool of talent at his fingertips, Pochettino can rotate easily whilst still keeping his main players fit and fresh.
Will they win it: probably not – at least not this season. I do expect a relatively successful campaign, though, and I genuinely wouldn’t rule out a top four spot – at 10/3 there’s plenty of value there. I think another fifth place finish is more likely in the Argentine’s first season in charge with plenty more to come in the campaigns ahead.