Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a strict criteria when it comes to finding players willing to join Spurs. They must have quality on the pitch as well as a good personality off the pitch.
Since his arrival back in May 2014, Mauricio Pochettino has structured his roster around two key principles when it comes to acquiring players.
For starters, they must have quality. This is a very obvious statement, but it’s true. Secondly, and perhaps just as important as the first point or maybe even more so, footballers joining Tottenham must be good people off of the pitch, just as good as they are on the pitch when playing.
Finding good people is not an easy process. And while football clubs are run to win silverware year in and year out, Pochettino runs this team differently.
It’s how he was brought up back in Argentina as a player and this is how he’s done things in Spain and now England as a manager.
As a player with Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina, Mauricio Pochettino learned a valuable lesson in putting a lot of trust in academy players.
While Newell had the funds to signed talented players from anywhere, it was best to sign players who not only played great on the pitch, but was a likable person off the pitch.
And what better players are there that has the talent but also are good human beings? Homegrown players that have been raised through the club’s youth academy.
Having good character traits is a must in a Pochettino-managed team. Which says a lot about his squad’s average age being very young.
Again, this isn’t something that should exactly be considered when lifting up trophies at the end of the year, because winning is the most important thing for a football club.
But, Pochettino’s philosophy to find quality footballers with quality personalities has helped shaped his teams wherever he has gone.
At the moment, he has transformed Spurs into a family-like environment. There are no “bad eggs” to speak of. Everyone likes each other. Everyone fights for one another during games.
There’s a chemistry among the players — a connection. One “bad egg” is enough to ruin that and cause problems.
Pochettino being selective in his process to sign players hurts Spurs in the sense they they’re missing out on quality players, though he’s making sure his side are not only competitive but are well-liked among their peers.
They’re not robots, they’re humans. A saying that Mauricio Pochettino has said before.
Football comes first, but having a team where people are treated equally is also important.
"“We try to sign players who can improve our squad not only in terms of football quality,” Pochettino told the Evening Standard (quotes provided by ESPN FC).“If they are very good people, it is even better. We are a company. Football is the most important thing but it is not only about football.”More from Hotspur HQStorybook ending after difficult period for Tottenahm’s RicharlisonTottenham comeback showcased invaluable intangible Ange has cultivatedTottenham player ratings in 2-1 comeback win over Sheffield UnitedTottenham projected starting 11 for Sheffield UnitedTottenham’s Richarlison says he’s going to seek psychological help“It is about football and people. Young players are part of my identity.”“At my first club as a player, Newell’s Old Boys, there was always a belief in younger talent at the club, which was given the chance to work in the first team.”“Even though we were a medium-level club in Argentina, we won three titles. It was an important time for me to understand that even though you can add good players and staff from outside the club, the academy is important as that is the identity of the club.”“For a big club, it always seems more important to spend money on players from outside than give a chance to a younger player, but we have shown that we trust in the academy and if they have faith in us, these players can have the chance to play in the first team.”"
Make no mistake, Mauricio Pochettino’s efforts to find both quality players and players who are good people in the transfer market hasn’t led this team to any championships. Not in the immediate future at least.
What it has done however, is cultivate a culture where players, homegrown or not, are re-signing with Spurs. They’re committing their futures long-term thus giving Tottenham the ability to make runs on all fronts on a yearly basis.
That, more than anything is perhaps the best reasoning to find good people who have just as much quality in their football skills, as they do personality-wise. Players want to stay at north London now and not leave for any other club whenever there’s interest.
It also helps to have young talent lead a club for years to come and become the faces of the new generation. Like Tottenham, with multiple players who are both young, talented and well-liked.