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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Pochettino building the jigsaw puzzle

It was quite astounding at the time that some fans couldn't see the changes and improvements Mauricio Pochettino made in his first season. Some were even calling for his head!

Those very same emotionally driven fans will no doubt have come round to the way the rest of us think and see Pochettino are a quality manager.

Without a shadow of doubt, Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager the Premier League has seen. People claim he had the resources so it was easy, well manchester United have the resources now and have only made the Champions League once in three seasons, he also won the Premier League with a mediocre side. He won the Champions League too. he left manchester United at the top and they have gone downhill since that tells you everything.

His view was that you had to have a successful business to have a successful side on the pitch, you had to look to improve in every area, both on and off the pitch, and provide everything possible to give the team the best chance of success.

Mauricio Pochettino had to change the very culture at Tottenham. We had and have a chairman who knew exactly what he wanted but manager after manager couldn't provide it. Regardless of whether some were your favourites or no not, they were all average, none had that extra special ability that Ferguson had and that Pochettino has.

A coach should not just be knitting players together to create a team, he should be improving every one of them  so they form a better team. That is the key to a coach, can he improve individual players, not just one player?

That is what Daniel Levy was searching for, although few seem to have appreciated that, and it's why we went through a host of managers. While you can look at a record, that isn't easy with young managers yet to prove themselves. You never really know what you have got until you employ someone, just the same as a company doesn't really know what they have when they employ you.

Throwing money to a coach/manager yet to show he has that extra ability is merely delaying a problem, it isn't solving it, it's papering over the cracks. Find the right personnel and then you can spend the money that needs to be spent, you know it is going to be an investment then. Your coach/manager is the going to improve them so you win on the pitch with a better side and off the pitch with asset value.

We have seen countless Spurs players improve, we have seen Rose and Walker develop into arguably the best two full-backs in the country, no other coach/manager could improve him like that. Part of that was simply mentality and belief, he was given the confidence he didn't have before, Lamela was worked with to change his mentality and get him happy, Dembele was sidelined to get him mentally motivated.

The head is just as important as the feet, if not more so, it is the head that makes all the decisions. While most of our recent coaches seem to have worked with the feet, none, it seems,  have worked with the head as Pochettinoi has. That is the biggest difference between him and his recent predecessors. Players within the game were telling us he was a top manager before last season, they clearly knew what we had, now we do.

The task he faced when h arrived was huge. he had to change the mentality and sort the wheat from the chaff. He had to decide who was behind him and who was more interested in their pay packet or their way of doing things. The youth had a bust up with the senior players who didn't like the levels of training which clearly defined those players for Pochettino's philosophy and those with reservations. You keep those committed to your methods, you get shot of the rest as soon as you can.

That identifies areas you need to strengthen as does performance. Not all improvements or player upgrades can be done at once. You don't just buy for the sake of buying to fill a hole, you buy the players who will improve you are prices and on terms that suit your club. If you can't, you don't buy, you keep searching, keep scouting, keep negotiating and see how things are the following window.

That approach does not please some fans, but if you buy a player to fill a hole you then have to sell them when you agree a deal for the right player and there is no guarantee that that player will want to move, Adebayor refused to for instance, or that anyone wants to buy them unless it is for peanuts.

We don't have the income of others so we have to build and building takes time. Victor Wanyama is the latest piece of the puzzle. He arrives in the country on Sunday, has a medical on Monday and signs a contract before flying back to Kenya. It has taken at least a year if not two to get him and he instantly doubles in value as soon as he signs a contract. We are getting him cheap because he only has a year left, with a longer contract he immediately assumes full market value.

It is clearly our policy to keep players in that situation, at full value, as we offer new extended contracts each year. The spate of signing we have seen is not an effort to fend off other clubs as the media like to portray it, but the club securing an asset's (a player is an asset) maximum value. They work their way through our wage structure so as they justify a nr=ew wage level then they have to sign another contract with an added year or years to receive it. many of our younger players have been in that situation, harry Kane is a prime example.

There will be further squad improvements this summer, we are clearly going to be signing a striker. Assuming we can agree a fee Batshuayi will arrive (12 days left until Marseille crunch time) and I suspect that Janssen is the second choice so perhaps he won't sign for anyone until he knows the situation at Tottenham and whether we will want to sign him or not. He will certainly be aware of the circumstances in which a signing will take place and how we see his future with us.

We fans look forward to the new season with anticipation and relish.



  1. Hope it's Janssen for me! More pace, better finishing and less attitude!

  2. Hope it's Janssen for me! More pace, better finishing and less attitude!



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