It has been difficult for some time to work out precisely what Daniel Levy wants from a Tottenham manager. The Spurs chairman has veered from the intense Spanish approach of Juande Ramos, to the nous and instincts of Harry Redknapp, back to the meticulous and ambitious young Andre Villas-Boas, then back, again, to the short-term shot in the arm of Tim Sherwood.
What it suggests, among other things, is that Levy does not know what he is looking for. Or rather, he does – fourth place and Champions League football – but has not quite worked out how best to get there and stay there yet.
Mauricio Pochettino, Levy hopes, should represent the best of the two approaches, a hybrid of sorts between Villas-Boas and Sherwood. He has, like Villas-Boas, a very clear idea about how he wants the game to be played, based on high pressing and fluid movement. It has worked well at Espanyol and Southampton, and should do so at White Hart Lane.
What Pochettino also has, which Villas-Boas might have lacked, is naturally good relationships with his players. All the young players at Southampton spoke very warmly of him and his work.
There are many young Englishmen at Spurs who must look at the development of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and the rest, which has won them places on the plane to Brazil, and wonder whether Pochettino might take them in the same direction.
The higher-profile players – Christian Eriksen, Lewis Holtby and, perhaps, Erik Lamela – must hope for some of the tactical identity that has been lacking at White Hart Lane. If Pochettino can get the most out of Spurs’ players then there is the basis of a good team there. Whether he will get enough time to do it before the club change their mind again is another matter.
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