Spurs are a club on the up and Pochettino is proving his worth
Tottenham have experienced a season of transition under new coach Mauricio Pochettino, who joined from Southampton last summer.
For manager, club, team and fans alike, it has been a learning curve. However, the Argentine chief has been methodical and patient in his approach, and seemingly, most of his major decisions have come at the right time and have proved correct.
They are 25/1 to win the Europa League with Coral this season; a tournament which in past campaigns they have enjoyed a good run in. First up is the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea, and with Nemanja Matic missing for the Blues, the north London outfit have more than a fighting chance, despite being 12/5 outsiders for victory.
Jose Mourinho has said in the run-up to the match that the club have a great squad, highlighting their strength in depth.
“They (Tottenham) have such a good squad, almost replicas with two players for every position. What’s the difference between Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend? Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen? Paulinho and Ryan Mason? [Jan] Vertonghen and Fazio — actually Vertonghen likes to get cards to the opponents.”
Encouraging words indeed, and a testament to the work Pochettino has done since he has arrived at White Hart Lane. He has turned last season’s expensive flops into players who can actually compete consistently in the Premier League. The aforementioned Lamela, Chadli and even Paulinho have started to show signs that, on their day they can be world class.
The obvious success story of the campaign has been club top scorer and, largely a reserve player last term, Harry Kane. He has netted 22 goals in all competitions, and Pochettino, recognising his potential started him off the Europa League, where ironically, there was less pressure, yet more prestige and the 21-year-old flourished.
So much so, that he has swiftly become Spurs’ regular frontman, eclipsing seasoned professionals Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado in the pecking order.
Former boss of the White Hart Lane club, Harry Redknapp insists that Kane should win the season’s top accolade.
“For me, if I had to vote today for the footballer of the year, Harry Kane would top my list on what’s happened so far,” Redknapp said.
“Forget whether he’s a big name or whether he’s a world superstar, no-one’s achieved in my opinion more than what Harry Kane has achieved at Tottenham,” he elaborated.
It will be an interesting summer for Spurs. No matter what happens, Pochettino is likely to have money to spend, following his proven ability to get the best out of players. It is likely that Adebayor and Soldado will leave, which means at least one striker should come in, with the coach seeming to prefer younger players who are hungry and ambitious.