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Opinion: Mauricio Pochettino deserves more credit for Tottenham revolution

Tottenham Hotspur have drawn plenty of admiration from onlookers in the past three seasons but approaching his fourth year in charge of the club the, critics are starting to circle around Mauricio Pochettino. Despite the vast improvement under Pochettino, the North London club are still searching for the illusive first major trophy under his leadership.

Many have questioned whether Pochettino and this current Tottenham side warrant the sort of praise being dished out to them, without any tangible reward for all of their good football. These questions were being asked once again following Tottenham’s disappointing defeat to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Tottenham in cup competitions under Mauricio Pochettino

Competition Round Result
League Cup Final 0-2 (vs. Chelsea)
F.A Cup Fourth Round 1-2 (vs. Leicester)
League Cup Third Round 1-2 (vs. Arsenal)
F.A Cup Fifth Round 0-1 (vs. Crystal Palace)
League Cup Last 16 1-2 (vs. Liverpool)
F.A Cup Semi Final 2-4 (vs. Chelsea)
League Cup Last 16 2-3 (vs. West Ham)
Europa League Round of 32 2-3 (agg.) (vs. Gent)
Champions League Last 16 3-4 (agg.) (vs. Juventus)

 

Pochettino’s side gave the perfect response on Sunday evening with a 4-1 win away to Bournemouth. Having gone 1-0 down early on, many were predicting a Tottenham capitulation, however they fought back well, without the talismanic Harry Kane, to claim three valuable points and cement their place in the top four. The win showcased the kind of steel that Pochettino’s men seldom get the credit for.

 

Tottenham let a 3-2 aggregate lead slip against Juventus

 

Despite all of the criticism for Pochettino’s trophy-less run at Spurs, his side are on course for their third successive top four finish and are still in the hunt for the F.A Cup. However, regardless of whether the Argentine delivers Champions League football for a third successive year, the doubters will make their voices heard once more if his side fail to win the F.A Cup in May.

Is it surprising that Mauricio Pochettino is not more highly regarded in terms of the top Premier League managers? In a recent poll by the BBC, Pochettino was ranked worst out of the managers in charge of the top four clubs behind Manchester City; the four who finished above him were Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.

All three of those other managers have spent far more than what Pochettino has spent in his time at Spurs, yet they have not achieved the same level of consistency as Spurs have in the last three seasons.

Gross Spending by the Top 5 Clubs Since Start of 2016/17 Season

Manchester City £468 million
Manchester United £310 million
Chelsea £305 million
Liverpool £264 million
Tottenham Hotspur £166 million

 

Mauricio Pochettino was appointed Tottenham Head Coach in May 2014

 

Managers are judged on number of trophies they have won, although, this should not be the only determining factor – otherwise coaches such as Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche could not be considered successful, despite their remarkable achievements with Bournemouth and Burnley respectively.

Besides having no tangible reward for their improvement under Poch, Tottenham have significantly grown in stature as a club. The biggest clubs are measured by their performance on the European stage and the North London club proved themselves amongst Europe’s elite this season with a comprehensive win over the European champions, Real Madrid, as well as impressive displays away to Madrid and Juventus. In the Premier League last season, they amassed 86 points, which is 14 more than any other Spurs side in the Premier League era and they are on 61 points this season with 8 games left.

The titles haven’t arrived yet, but their presence in the latter stages of competitions is becoming more prevelant. History tells us that Tottenham will almost certainly win trophies under Mauricio Pochettino, although, even if they somehow fail to do so it should not detract from his achievements with Tottenham.

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