After what eventually turned out to be a quite disappointing season for Tottenham Hotspur, Chairman Daniel Levy found it right to give Tim Sherwood the boot. Now the question arises as to who will be the next Tottenham manager. With Manchester United getting Louis Van Gaal and Frank De Boer not looking to be the board's choice, Mauricio Pochettino appears to be the firm favourite to be the new manager. However, is he the right choice?
Last season saw Tottenham work with two managers who were absolute polar opposites to one another in terms of their coaching style but the team’s results were the same either way. While Andre Villas Boas had a more cautious approach, looking to start the attack from the defence and playing a very high line. This often resulted in Spurs getting thumped by fast counter-attacks like that of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Given the amount of money the club spent on players, they certainly had very high expectations in AVB but were left disappointed at his obvious incapability of handling the responsibility. He may have paid the price for making football "too complicated" and seemed to concentrate more on what the opposition were going to do and not how his team were going to play.
Tim Sherwood was more of a manager focusing more on motivating the team and less on tactics. He was responsible for the revival of Emmanuel Adebayor as well as the establishment of Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane in the first team set-up. However there wasn't much of an improvement in results marked by disappointing losses to Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham. Going forward, Tottenham might have found a bit of form under Tim Sherwood thanks to the likes of Cristian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor but defensively things were all the same.
He was also not the manager you would call ambitous by any stretch of imagination. He himself felt that the club's expectations of a top-four finish last season were 'unrealistic'. His unorthodox managing style including watching his team play from the stands were not received well by the board or the fans and he ended up lasting for around 5 months before getting the sack.
The current manager of Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino has had a quite impressive season as manager taking Southampton to a respectable 8th place finish. He led the Saints to impressive victories over Liverpool as well as Chelsea, something the star-studded Spurs squad failed to do. His job as Espanyol manager prior to Southampton was a much more challenging one. The advantages that Pochettino can bring with him to Spurs is definitely bringing the free flowing attacking football back to Spurs, who have been known for it.
Moreover, Tottenham's record signing Erik Lamela, who has found life in England extremely difficult, might find it easier to play under fellow Argentine, Pochettino. Another advantage of getting Pochettino could be the potential arrivals of Saints stars Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez or Luke Shaw, who may prefer playing for the former boss ahead of other big clubs. The fact the Mauricio Pochettino is 42 and has managed just 2 clubs might lead us to believe that he is no different from AvB and Tim Sherwood in terms of his lack of experience, moreover win percentages of just 33% and 39% in his previous 2 managerial positions aren't too encouraging.
Behind the scenes, Pochettino communicates with players and club staff in English, while he has taken language lessons since taking the Saints job. However, he still uses a translator when speaking to the media but Tottenham want Mauricio Pochettino to speak English in public if he takes over at White Hart Lane.
On the face of it, he certainly is not as big a name as Louis van Gaal or Rafael Benitez or Frank De Boer, and does not come with the same level of experience. However, given his managing style, favouring a high pressing attacking style of football along with the way he likes developing the youth players, he may just turn out to be a shrewd signing for Spurs.Published 20 May 2014, 23:23 IST