It’s even more important, with Mauricio Pochettino under intensifying pressure, not to forget about the players who have bloomed under his mentorship at Tottenham.
Pointing the finger at the manager is the easiest move during austerity. And that’s something Mauricio Pochettino has experienced first hand during Tottenham’s longstanding despair. Pressure is mounting and nobody knows, other than the powers that be, what will become of the storied Argentinian at Tottenham.
Pochettino will be the first to admit that he is responsible for his side’s wellbeing. By no means faultless in the Lilywhites’ recent demise, Pochettino wouldn’t be surprised if the club decides to part ways. When the axe falls, it usually comes down on the manager’s head, unforgiving and swiftly.
Between all the verbal projectiles being tossed his way – both from supporters and the media – Pochettino deserves widespread plaudits for helping the core of his squad reach their full potential. Too often, in times of turmoil, we forget about how Pochettino made his meteoric rise to one of the world’s most coveted managers. Namely, his development of players, his ability to get the most out of potential.
For some, their rise to superstardom is in large part thanks to Pochettino’s coaching, his unwavering belief in them. Others have fulfilled their potential or are on their way to doing so for many reasons, not least of which due to Pochettino’s tutelage, inspiration and knack for slotting them in positions to thrive:
All of the following players, when looking back on their careers, will pay homage to the Argentine maestro: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Toby Alderweireld, Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen, Hugo Lloris, Harry Winks and Eric Dier.
Think about what stage of development the aforementioned names were at before Pochettino got ahold of them. Kane enjoyed his first 20-goal campaign under Pochettino’s guidance. Alli’s breakthrough campaign, in 2015-16, happened on Pochettino’s watch. Lamela came to prominence only when his Argentinian compatriot arrived at the club.
Toby Alderweireld became one of the world’s most sought after centre backs after joining Spurs in 2015-16. Son, who arrived in 2015-16, took a year to find his groove under Pochettino. The South Korean’s legend started to sprout in 2016-17, again due to the messiah of man managers. Christian Eriksen also enjoyed his best seasons at Tottenham under the gaffer’s reign.
Winks and Dier, before the latter’s bout with injury and illness, grew to prominence at the heart of midfield in Pochettino’s team, both of whom were regular fixtures in the national setup. And Lloris reached the top of the footballing world, winning the World Cup with France. All of this while plying his club trade with Spurs.
Whether because of the chemistry he created, the inspiration he injected or the perfect puzzle he built, Pochettino was the mastermind of Tottenham’s well documented rise to prominence, both domestically and across Europe.
Although slightly jaded, lest we forget that Pochettino is still that very same genius.