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Mauricio Pochettino and Newcastle United: A perfect match

  • Mauricio Pochettino's arrival at Newcastle United could signal the start of a new era, both for him and for the club.
  • With the financial backing of Newcastle's new owners, Pochettino could prove that Spurs were wrong to sack him.
Rohit George
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 10 May 2020, 11:07 IST

Crvena Zvezda v Tottenham Hotspur: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Crvena Zvezda v Tottenham Hotspur: Group B - UEFA Champions League

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought the football world to a grinding halt since the middle of March. However, in the absence of the game itself, football news and transfer rumours are keeping the fans intrigued.

The biggest transfer rumour that has been doing the rounds for the last few weeks is the one linking Mauricio Pochettino to the Newcastle United job. If reports are to be believed, Newcastle United are on the verge of a big-money takeover by a wealthy consortium from Saudi Arabia.

More importantly, the potential new owners are set to overhaul the squad with a number of superstar players being linked with a move to St. James’ Park.

Along with a new group of players, the owners are also said to be on the lookout for a new manager and Pochettino is believed to be the one on top of their wishlist.

Well begun is only half done

Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference
Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference

The Argentine has been without a job since he left Tottenham Hotspur last year and has expressed his desire to return to the Premier League. If the Magpies do manage to sign Pochettino, it will be a statement of intent to all the other clubs. Also, it will signal the start of a huge project that aims to make a club that presently finds itself in the bottom half of the table a domestic powerhouse.

And there will not be a manager who is better-equipped to lead Newcastle’s charge than Pochettino. During his spell in charge of Spurs, he developed and cemented his reputation as one of the best managers in the world. Pochettino endorsed a high-pressing style of play that kept the opponents on their toes and found the back of the opponent’s net with ease. 

The 48-year-old also gave numerous youngsters a chance to break into the first team, with Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Harry Kane going on to become household names under his watchful eyes.

But for all his tactical prowess and man-management skills, Pochettino failed to win a title during his time in charge of Spurs. And many consider this to be the only blemish in an otherwise perfect tenure in North London. 

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However, let’s not forget how agonisingly close his Spurs team had come to beating Leicester City to the title during the 2016-16 Premier League campaign.

More recently, Spurs produced one of the greatest comebacks in UEFA Champions League history to beat Ajax Amsterdam in the semi-final of the competition last year. However, fright got the better of them against Liverpool in the final.

What makes Spurs’ exploits in Europe last season even more commendable is the fact that they had not bought a single player during the summer transfer window.

Given the thin squad that Pochettino had at his disposal at the start of last season, neither fans nor experts expected the Lilywhites go as far as they did in Europe’s premier club competition. But the former Espanyol manager made sure that the Londoners defied expectations.

Despite his commendable achievements with Spurs though, the lack of silverware eventually proved costly for Pochettino. The club ultimately decided to part ways with him and hired Jose Mourinho, one of the most successful managers in football history as his replacement. 

Pochettino's work at Spurs went way beyond winning silverware though. A lack of spending in the transfer market coupled with players in the squad not having any title-winning experience did not help his cause. Yet, he managed to make the Lilywhites an ever-present force in the Premier League's top four.

A perfect match

Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference
Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference

Following his departure from the Spurs hot seat, Pochettino has taken a well-deserved sabbatical from the game and used the time to figure out his next destination as a manager. Ever since the news of Newcastle United’s takeover has come to light, Pochettino has been heavily linked with a move to the club.

And if reports are to be believed, it is only a matter of time before the former Spurs manager makes a return to the Premier League.

The proposed takeover has been facing some criticism and objection from certain quarters. But if it does go through, the new owners will be looking to follow the blueprint created by Manchester City since 2008.

The Cityzens have been able to attract some of the biggest players in the world ever since Sheikh Mansour took over. And Pochettino can expect a similar backing in the transfer market. 

This will come as a huge relief to the Argentine manager as a lack of financial backing was one of the biggest obstacles he faced during his time at Spurs. At Newcastle, however, one can expect Pochettino being given the license to splurge on his targets as the owners have considerably deep pockets.

Conversely, the prospect of working with Pochettino is certain to lure a number of big players. And the Magpies are currently being linked with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Phillipe Coutinho and Kalidou Koulibaly among others.

Pochettino looks all set to become Newcastle United’s manager as they are about to enter a new era under their wealthy owners.

This gives the Argentine the opportunity to lay the foundation for all the success that the club will go on to achieve and bring in players who will suit his football philosophy. Along the way, he could also prove to Spurs that they were wrong to sack him.

Whichever way you look at it, Newcastle United and Pochettino seem to be a match made in heaven but only time will tell if it is perfect or too good to be true.


Published 10 May 2020, 11:07 IST
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