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Mauricio Pochettino’s ambitious sliverware claim should cheer Tottenham supporters

Max Cohen

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Pochettino
Photo: Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Tottenham Hotspur secured Champions League qualification with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United, a feat that manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed as a “massive achievement.”

Yet Spurs supporters should be heartened by his further ambitious comments after the match that showed the Argentinian boss is no longer satisfied with just top-four finishes.

The Tottenham manager told the Daily Mail that the north London club must aim higher and can no longer continue to celebrate mere Champions League qualification.

“The first step is to be competitive and to reduce the gap with the top four,” Pochettino said. “And after 23 years it is the first time we have finished above all of the London clubs. But next is to win a trophy, although we are not a club which wins a lot in recent years.”

The desire to win the club’s first silverware in over a decade is clearly articulated by Pochettino, and will be welcome news to Spurs supporters.

This season Tottenham yet again fell short of a trophy, narrowly falling to Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinals in their best chance to end their drought.

Now, it seems that the yearn for silverware is as strong in the club’s management as it is among Spurs’ devoted fanbase.

Pochettino’s remarks are notable as they mark a shift in mentality at White Hart Lane. Whereas in previous years, putting the pressure on in the title race and securing European football would have been seen as successes, now Tottenham’s ambition has grown.

As Pochettino’s men prepare to move into their gleaming, state-of-the-art new stadium next season, Tottenham’s focus is firmly set on claiming their first trophy since their League Cup triumph of 2008.

The Argentinian’s ambitious post-match comments reveal that he is the right man to lead Spurs forward and lift a  much-anticipated trophy.

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Ahmed Hegazi would be inadequate Toby Aderweireld replacement

Latest reports are linking the Egyptian with a move to White Hart Lane.

Max Cohen

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Ahmed Hegazi
Photo: Getty Images

As Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Toby Aderweireld becomes more heavily linked with a move away from north London this summer, the club is on the search for a new central defender to fill his boots.

According to The Guardian, one mooted replacement is West Bromwich Albion centre-back Ahmed Hegazi; but Spurs should surely aim higher than a player who was part of a relegated side that sported one of the worst defences in the league.

Hegazi joined the Baggies from Egyptian football at the start of the 2017/18 campaign and became an ever-present at the Hawthorns in his debut season.

The Egyptian international caught the eye with a number of impressive performances at the back, yet was helpless as West Brom finished second-bottom and and suffered relegation to the Championship.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The departure of the Belgian needs to be met with a signing of the highest quality in order for Tottenham to show they can seriously challenge for silverware next season; Ahmed Hegazi simply is an inadequate man for the job.

Being part of a backline that shipped 56 goals in 38 matches, 20 more than Spurs conceded all year and the eighth-worst in the Premier League, is the opposite of an impressive credential.

And with Spurs already singing central defenders Davinson Sanchez and Cameron Carter-Vickers to long-term deals this summer, the acquisition of the 27-year-old Egyptian seemingly makes little sense.

The pursuit of the relegated West Brom defender should surely be called off in favour of higher-profile defensive talents such as Ajax’s Matias de Ligt or other players from Europe’s elite.

The inadequate signing of Ahmed Hegazi from West Brom would do little to help Tottenham Hotspur launch a sustained title challenge in the 2018/19 campaign.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino’s new contract release clause should concern Tottenham fans

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Photo: Getty Images.

There was the news that all Tottenham fans had been waiting and hoping for on Thursday as it was announced that Mauricio Pochettino had put pen to paper on an extended contract at the club.

The deal will run until 2023, as announced on the club’s official website, and reflects the long-term commitment from both parties after an impressive first four seasons in north London from the Argentinian.

However, fans will come back down to earth with a bump when they read MARCA‘s reports which claim that the contract includes an escape clause which would allow Pochettino to depart the club if Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain come calling.

The report goes on to state that the former Espanyol and Southampton boss is desperate to one day manage the Champions League finalists, whilst his history as a player at PSG would certainly make a move there appealing.

(during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium on November 1, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.

It would be no surprise if either of those huge clubs were to be interested in appointing Pochettino given that he has turned Tottenham into title contenders by spending little and developing young players into world beaters.

A new stadium gives new ambition and hope which could take Spurs to the next level, and whilst that may help to persuade the coach to stay, it could equally catch the eye of those abroad if it provides a platform to finally lift silverware for the first time in his career.

By committing to what could be a nine year stay if he sees out his new deal, Pochettino clearly has no plans to go anywhere just yet. But with Daniel Levy ready to invest and back his man, it will be a nagging worry knowing that he could depart at any moment if Zinedine Zidane or Thomas Tuchel depart their clubs and Pochettino becomes a target.

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Salomon Rondon would be ideal back-up for Harry Kane and Tottenham

Josh Kerr

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Salomon Rondon
Photo: Getty Images

According to reports from the Daily Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are interested in adding West Bromwich Albion‘s Salomon Rondon to their attacking ranks.

The recently relegated striker will be hoping to stay in the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino can ensure that happens for the Venezuela international.

Harry Kane has been a revelation once again for the Lilywhites firing 30 league goals this season and was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.

However, Pochettino has still not found a suitable back-up for the Englishman and is already looking for another replacement.

Fernando Llorente was signed from Swansea last season after Vincent Janssen failed to make an impact in north London.

However, the 33-year-old striker could not improve on his 15 goal tally for the Swans that kept them in the top flight a year ago.

The Spanish forward has one goal in 16 Premier League appearances for Spurs and it’s understandable that Pochettino already wants a replacement.

Rondon would not be a signing that should get fans excited by any means.

After all, he does not represent a world-class striker in the slightest and, similarly to Llorente, he has spent the majority of his Premier League career scrapping at the bottom end of the table.

Despite finishing rock bottom in the league this campaign, Rondon was one of those who emerged from the season with some credibility, scoring 10 goals in all competitions for the Baggies.

The Baggies forward is a striker who has often looked isolated and lacking options in a West Brom side that has struggled to get the best out of him.

In a flourishing Spurs team, his Premier League goal tally, of 24, could steadily improve.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rondon has a relegation release clause in his contract that can see him leave the Midlands side for a reported fee of £16.5 million.

This may be off-putting for Spurs fans as the fee is not cheap considering the Venezuelan’s lack of firepower.

However, at 28, he is five years younger than Llorente and would only cost £2 million more than the fee they paid for the Spaniard, so it’s not the worst transfer when wanting more attacking options.

There’s no doubt that Llorente has struggled at Wembley this season and at 33, Levy may be tempted to move the former Juventus striker on and refresh his forward line.

A club of Spurs’ stature will always be linked with bigger names, but Rondon could still be a smart appointment for the Londoners.

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