When Mauricio Pochettino arrived on English shores in January of 2013; He was an unknown name, a gamble that the Southampton board were taking.
Pochettino’s appointment was initially met with anger by Southampton fans, who viewed the sacking of Nigel Adkins as a harsh decision as he guided the Saints from League One to the promised land of the Premier League.
The former Espanyol mans task was similar to that of the job he done at Espanyol, that job was to keep the club in the top division. At Southampton, Pochettino found a group of hungry players who wanted to remain in the Premier League.
His task was made simple by the philosophy that he is renowned for; that philosophy is to be brave and not fear the opponent. During the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign, the foundations and implementation of Pochettino’s philosophy were becoming ever more prevalent.
During the 2012-13 campaign he led the saints to notable victories against regaining Premier League champions Manchester City, Champions league winners Chelsea and a memorable home win against Liverpool at St. Mary’s. The foundations of the Pochettino philosophy were being cemented; with the Argentine leading the saints to premier league survival.
His full season in charge of the Saints was an historic one for the Southampton team, Mauricio Pochettino earned praise for his high pressing, attacking system which earned plaudits from the footballing community.
A key component of Mauricio Pochettino’s philosophy is that of youth and community, Under Mauricio Pochettino’s tutelage stars such as Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers, Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez, Dejan Lovern and Rickie Lambert became cult heroes among Saint’s fans. In his first full season in charge of Southampton he led the club to an impressive eighth placed finish, their highest league position in over a decade, while also recording their highest points tally since the premier league began.
A major factor of Mauricio Pochettino’s attraction to Southampton was that of the relationship he had with former chairman Nicola Cortese. Mauricio Pochettino comments that he felt his position changed at St. Mary’s once the chairman left, with rumours of new ownership circulating among the south coast and clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United sniffing around the club’s talent; Pochettino felt his time at the club was coming to a close on the south coast.
Mauricio Pochettino did not necessarily leave a legacy at Southampton, but rather an expectation to play the Pochettino way. To be brave and not fear and opponent; the basis for Southampton’s success under Ronald Koeman was undoubtedly influenced by his predecessors sides not fearing the opposition.
When Pochettino was appointed Tottenham Hotspur boss before the start of the 2014-15 season, many were curious as to how he would get on. Unlike Southampton, Pochettino was not inheriting a group of players with a hunger to survive relegation; but rather a group of big money, high profile players who had faltered to deceive at Tottenham.
In his first season foundations of the current Spurs rise were put in place; Big money flops such as Soldado were replaced by academy graduates such as Harry Kane. Guiding Spurs to a respectable 5th place finish and a League Cup final were seen as progress among the White Hart Lane faithful, Tottenham were no longer going into big games fearing a hammering and managed to get results against rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.
Tottenham have invested in youth, nurturing talents such as Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Harry Winks and of course Harry Kane have flourished working under Pochettino enfacing the work that the manager puts into youth players, who he believes are fitter and hungrier to succeed than big money signings.
However, the expectation among Tottenham fans has always been to secure a place among the European elite in the Champions League. It can be said in the last two seasons, Pochettino has transformed Tottenham into league contenders; narrowly missing out on the crown to Leicester and Chelsea in recent seasons and generating a team of youthful, vibrant and hungry player’s eager for silverware in north London.
With Tottenham’s mentality changed from premier league coasters to serious title contenders under Mauricio Pochettino, and big results secured against top sides such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid. The expectation is for Tottenham to go on and win silverware to make his tenure in the spurs hot seat successful.