Tottenham HotspurDownload App

Tottenham Represents the Ideal Step Up from Southampton for Mauricio Pochettino

Getty
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 27, 2014

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new Tottenham Hotspur boss.

Chairman Daniel Levy has been studiously searching for a new man to replace Tim Sherwood on a full-time basis since informing the caretaker of his release last month—and now he has found his man.

"Poch" arrived at Southampton midway through the 2012-13 season much to the annoyance of Saints fans, with former manager Nigel Adkins being ruthlessly removed from his position despite recently securing a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

But the initial moans and groans began evaporating as the former Espanyol coach's methods took shape, and the drastic improvement of a number of talents, including Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and, specifically, Jay Rodriguez, won the crowd round.

He quickly garnered a reputation for being very tactically astute; he got the best out of any given XI and recruited wisely during the summer transfer window too.

The single blemish on his record at St Mary's Stadium is £15 million misfit Dani Osvaldo, who Southampton shipped to Juventus on loan this January after he head-butted teammate Jose Fonte.

Saints signed Osvaldo to provide depth up front and run in behind Rickie Lambert to provide a direct threat. Without him, Rodriguez filled the role superbly, but the team began tiring in games due to the tiny squad available to Pochettino.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22:  (L-R) Tim Sherwood the Spurs interim manager directs his players as Mauricio Pochettino the Southampton manager looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's S
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

They began the season pressing high, harrying opponents and creating turnovers. By November, the pressing game was almost gone, shelved due to player exhaustion.

Southampton developed a frustrating habit of fading in games, and if they failed to find a second goal in the first half, they'd often draw the match or even lose.

This won't be a problem at Tottenham Hotspur, now Pochettino has taken the reins, and it represents the perfect club for him to take his next step up the management ladder.

Spurs' squad is packed with options for a heavy rotation, and the high-press strategy Pochettino used at both Espanyol and Southampton can return. Sandro can be his Morgan Schneiderlin, Erik Lamela his Rodriguez, and Kyle Walker his marauding, dominant full-back.

He could use a few additions here and there, namely a left-back to compete with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and replace Danny Rose, but crucially, Poch won't be facing the mass exodus Southampton appear to be readying themselves for.

At his final press conference of the season, the Argentine stressed he needs a "project" he can get on board with. He seemed non-committal about Southampton, at the very least, and it became obvious to the media present that he would not stay if his prize assets were sold.

Pochettino talking to Spurs is the biggest indicator yet that any of Lallana, Schneiderlin, Shaw and Dejan Lovren could be off this summer, but he's not just jumping ship for the closest one afloat.

Spurs is a great job for him. The fit—both on and off the pitch—is snug.

 

*All quotes obtained firsthand unless stated otherwise.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices