Pochettino’s lasting legacy
When Mauricio Pochettino arrived from the sunny south coast into the capital, people were wondering what methods he would bring with him. I think we all suggested his methodical passing game would fit in nicely at Spurs, his defensive solidity as a manager and tactician would probably work OK also, but curious thoughts were reserved for his transfer policy and how he handled the big personalities at Tottenham.
Tottenham seem to be forever in the back pages of any redtop newspaper, given that if any player is likely to move or someone has impressed overseas or in an international event, then some of these journalists play it easy. Maybe it’s something larger than that, maybe Levy and his cronies like the publicity and leak the information. Or maybe they just don’t keep hold off it as well as others around them, after all, publicity is the easiest form of marketing.
Of the splurge that pretty much symbolised Tottenham over two seasons ago, with the seven purchases that they signed on the back of Gareth Bale’s departure, only three(ish) now remain. Paulinho will now be setting up shop in Guangzhou, China – all the promise Spurs fans were expecting to see will be only visible in rerun footage on social media posts of his dismal miss against Burnley. Vlad Chiriches, if transfer rumours are anything to go by, is heading to Fiorentina and even if he doesn’t, he does have the look like he’s heading the way of Stefan Savic and Matija Nastasic. Ettiene Capoue has finally moved to another London club and seems most likely to succeed in England out of the three mentioned.
The mystery behind which club will be charitable enough to take anti-goal Soldado (I’d put money on it being a Turkish club) remains as a large question given they need another striker due to the over-reliance on Harry Kane and the disappearance of Adebayor’s talent and reappearance of his inflated ego. Erik Lamela was painted on the ceilings of White Hart Lane chapel’s as the divine successor of Bale, but given his injuries and lack of playing time he hasn’t shone in that time, at least not £26 million’s worth (yes, even that Rabona wasn’t worth it). But all is not lost, the signing of Christian Eriksen represents a brilliant coup. Like an exquisite Apple strudel, delicate, light and utterly excellent throughout the year has given Spurs’s transfer panel something to cling on to.
Nacer Chadli will inevitably become a sorry tale, possibly doing “a Capoue” by moving to another lesser English club which is likely to be renamed at some point in the near future “a Townsend”. But Nacer and Eriksen’s signings have something of the Pochettino mould to them, signing from industrious, philosophy-built sides with not the weight of expectation on them to succeed Bale from the get go. Since Pochettino has come into the Spurs cauldron of rumours and publicity, he’s done a cracking job in keeping it simmering and not boiling over. He’s steadily got rid of deadwood in the ranks, overseeing the departures of Sandro, Dawson, Naughton and Sigurdsson (not deadwood, just unfortunate) in his first season. The bloom of some bloke called Harry Kane was seen as a masterstroke and people soon forgot about some other bloke from Wales.
Clever purchases all individually under £8 million (which is completely bizarre in the world of Spurs) in goal-keeper cover in Vorm, industrious Welsh left back in Davies, raw but talented Dier and Yedlin and Stambouli who they’ve made a profit on a year later. Moving on a year and similar neat signings in Trippier and Wimmer, who is in the same mould as Vertonghen (left footed, strong and 6ft2) gives them depth at the back and could play a larger part in the Europa League and League cups as opposed to the League.
Rolling into this season, more is expected from Pochettino I gather. He’s building a strong and hungry young squad in which he’s cautious with his purchases, given the team is already settled, but he’s deemed it needs solidifying around the back, giving Vertonghen a much needed respite. Alderweireld at £16 million could be conceived at being a large transfer, but given that both came from Germinal Beerschot and Ajax together and partner each other in the national squad, gives the instinct that they’ll become an excellent centre back pairing in the league. If you have you’re doubts then check this visual.
You still every footballing site and newspaper linking you to who Spurs are after next, uttering worlds like “Spurs set to pip such and such” or “Tottenham leading the pack on …”, but with Poch in charge, they seem calm and collected. Like I said earlier, they’re a bit short up front given that they’re likely to see the back of Soldado and Adebayor, so maybe we’re destined to see there transfer panel kick up a fuss soon, but I wouldn’t be expecting the a large transfer fee on a huge, mercurial Spursy signing. Maybe another Kane will pop out of the bag.
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