Despite arguably having one of the most successful runs at Tottenham manager in the history of the Premier League, Tim Sherwood has been sacked, and subsequently replaced with a man that just about equals the former manager in age, but might never rival him in the competency of English as a language. That doesn’t mean, however, that the new Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino, lacks any competency when it comes to English Premier League football.
Having led quite the successful 18-month spell at Southampton, Pochettino joins the club at a time when they need him most.
Prior to Tottenham’s disappointing last season, the club splurged on a plethora of new players, leaving the team unorganized and un-integrated. The plan originally looked to compensate for the loss of star winger Gareth Bale, but ended up hurting the organization more than it helped.
Even so, AVB desperately tried to make the new signings play together; AVB failed. Sherwood tried, and Sherwood failed (though slightly less tragically). Now, it’s time for Pochettino to try, and things are looking good.
His experience with this kind of situation cannot be overlooked. Southampton signed a multitude of new players last summer, just as Spurs did, and went on to finish eighth; the best finish they’ve had in more than ten years.
With Spurs again vying for a top four finish, and a potential Champions League bid, a manager that can make top level players perform successfully among one another is not just a preference, it’s a necessity.
The summer transfer window is still young, but it’s looking like Pochettino is already trying to keep last year’s starting group together, so as not to make the cycle self-fulfilling. So far, his summer has consisted of releasing Gylfi Sigurdsson on loan to Swansea, a player whose inconsistent performances did not add anything to the squad last year, and signing Michel Vorm, a goalkeeper who will have to outdo France’s #1, Hugo Lloris, in order to earn a starting spot.
But even if an army of new recruits enters the Lane, it seems as if Pochettino might have success in creating a unit of old and new that will solidify the team as an intimidating competitor.
Although Tottenham’s summer friendlies have been lacking in starting players, and because of that, quality, the games have actually displayed a certain level of cohesion that fans haven’t seen in a long time. Backbone players, such as Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose, have displayed a level of awareness in finding their teammates, whether they be old or new, that promises only good things for the upcoming season. While their performances were lethargic at best, the team really seemed to be coming into their own.
The question is, will Pochettino be able to integrate the World Cup players, and potential new signings, back into the squad before the beginning of the season, or will Spurs fall victim to the same issue that held them back for the entirety of the last?