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Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane saved his Tottenham career
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane saved his Tottenham career

Mauricio Pochettino has been speaking about Harry Kane, and the Argentine has revealed that his Tottenham Hotspur career was saved by the striker in his very first season as the manager.

Spurs appointed Pochettino in the summer of 2014. He brought in a wave of excitement, but his start in the Premier League as Tottenham’s boss was really, really poor.

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Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Kane saved his Tottenham career

In the first nine games of the 2014/15 Premier League season, Tottenham, under Pochettino, managed just three wins – against West Ham, Queens Park Rangers and Southampton.

They were battered by Liverpool and Manchester City and also suffered defeats against the likes of West Brom and Newcastle United.

Even though it was early in the season, there were a few calls for Pochettino to be shown the door. Daniel Levy has a reputation for sacking managers when things don’t go to plan, and it wouldn’t have been a surprise at all if he had done the same with the Argentine after two wins in nine games.

In the 10th game of the campaign, Spurs looked in trouble again – against Aston Villa. They went a goal down in the 16th minute, and it looked like they were going to suffer another defeat.

However, 19 minutes after Christian Benteke’s red card, Nacer Chadli levelled the game. In the 90th minute, Harry Kane, who had come on as a substitute, scored a winner with an excellent free-kick, and Pochettino claims that moment saved his job and Spurs career.

He wrote in his article on The Athletic: “Harry scored 169 goals for me and my coaching staff, but that last-minute free kick at Villa Park (which meant Spurs won, 2-1) is still my favourite. Because it was decisive, for us and for him.

“Before then, we had 11 points from our first nine games. It was a really, really tough moment for the club. But from that goal on, it started to get easier.

“People started to understand what we were trying to do, where we wanted to take Tottenham. For me, that was a massive, key moment. And when I see Harry now, I still tell him he saved my career, because that goal allowed us to calm down, and got people to believe in our project.”

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What happened after that game?

After beating Aston Villa away from home, Spurs went on a good run that saw them lose just four of their next 21 Premier League games – three of those defeats came against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Tottenham ended that campaign in fifth – their lowest under Pochettino. In each of his next four full seasons, the Argentine led his side to top-four finishes – they were even runners-up in the 2016-17 season.

Kane, branded as an ‘amazing’ player, was developed into one of the best strikers in the world, and almost everyone else at the club improved massively under Pochettino and his coaching staff.

The now-50-year-old was eventually sacked by Levy in 2019 – five years after Kane, according to Pochettino himself, stopped that from happening.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

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