Not Harry Kane, but Pochettino is Spurs’ real asset
Players aside, Spurs, 16/1 to finish in the Premier League top four this season, can finally count a manager as one of their best assets.
Mauricio Pochettino’s move from Southampton last summer was greeted with mixed emotions. However, over the last season, plus his time at the Saints, he has gained a reputation for developing young players. Just like he has nurtured James Ward-Prowse, Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne on the south coast, he moved to north London and has done exactly the same with devastating effect.
Any other manager would have deemed it a bold decision to start both Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb together as a double pivot, though the Argentine saw something others missed. Indeed, no-one would have thought Harry Kane would be their established first-choice striker at 21 years old, or the joint-top Premier League scorer at the end of March with 19 goals.
It has all been quiet so far regarding whether Kane will move in the summer, though should any club come in for him, it is likely that he will stay and repay the faith shown in him by Pochettino. Interestingly, over the last year, he has raised his profile considerably, and become somewhat of a trusted authority in developing youth.
This puts Spurs in a unique position for the summer, though they need to back their manager in the transfer market. He is a USP for up-and-coming young players, and can become the next Arsene Wenger; an authority for honing rough diamonds.
However, in the summer, Pochettino need to be afforded permission sit down with Kane, and each young player face-to-face and sell them on the vision of the club, and get them to buy into it. This will help when big clubs come calling later on next season.
Harry Kane 2014/15
Furthermore, the deadwood needs to go. Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon, Mousa Dembele, Kyle Walker, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho may all be moved on. Streamlining the squad will not only engender a togetherness, but also a team spirit that is so evident at fierce rivals Arsenal under Wenger.
Factor in key players they have, such as Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, and then consider a number of others whose careers Pochettino has turned around, sparking remarkable results; Nacer Chadli, Danny Rose and to an extent, Erik Lamela, and there is some terrific talent among the ranks. Last summer’s recruits, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, DeAndre Yedlin, Benjamin Stambouli and Federico Fazio all have the required aptitude to make the grade.
Adding a sprinkling of signings, such as young Italian striker Domenico Berardi at Sassuolo, potentially Rodriguez (recovery from injury pending), talented Italian right back Matteo Darmian and there is no reason to suggest why the club can’t challenge substantially next term.
Pochettino will also have his eye on a handful of youngsters that he will want to bring through from the youth set-up. He has laid the foundations this season, according to a number of principles which, if adhered to, can form the perfect platform for prosperity.