Will the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino be the one that finally make a difference to Tottenham?
Spurs have appointed yet another new manager, but season-ticket holder James Mariner knows it won't necessarily lead to a change in results on the pitch
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.
Tuesday 27 May 2014
And so the cycle begins again. English manager, foreign manager, English manager, foreign manager. Glenn Hoddle, Martin Jol. Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas. Tim Sherwood and now Mauricio Pochettino. While one is tempted to give the Argentine a chance and finds oneself getting a touch excited about the way he seems willing to give youth its head, haven’t we at White Hart Lane been here countless times before? Jol – what a job he was doing; Ramos – now here’s a man with a European pedigree; AVB – surely he will be the one to help Tottenham make that final step up? Will this appointment be any different?
It is hard to continually rouse oneself every 18 months to get excited about yet another new managerial appointment in N17, when it often looks probable that he will be gone at the first sign of bad form. With Arsenal, again, finishing above us for a 534th season in succession, the gallows humour is often all that gets Spurs supporters through these barren times.
Pochettino’s appointment at Southampton 16 months ago had reporters scouring reference books and flocking to Wikipedia, but the former defender quickly earned the plaudits for his refreshing style of play down on the South Coast. Tottenham were without representation in an England World Cup squad for the first time in 60 years, while the departures lounge at Southampton seemed to be fit to bursting following their fine campaign, an indication of how impressive Pochettino’s work was at St Mary’s, sat against another season of transition at the Lane.
Rumours of Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw et all possibly following ‘Poch’ up the M3 have already filled the tabloids and, while some would no doubt add something to the squad, what to make of last year’s arrivals at Spurs?
Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and the rest still have a lot to prove – how many of them will get the chance as chariman Daniel Levy dusts down that new broom once again? At least Lamela should benefit from having his countryman at the helm.
Yes, Pochettino’s Southampton side were twice beaten by Sherwood’s Tottenham last season, but only after impressing with their attacking fluency and forward thinking, and having led both matches. It is to be hoped that he has more of a gameplan than Sherwood – and at least, given his perceived difficulties with the English language – which was never as bad as his continued use of a translator would suggest - he won’t talk his way into Levy’s bad books as quickly as Tactics Timmy. One promising thing is that we have got it all done and dusted before the World Cup, so the likes of Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, our three most important players, know the situation as they weigh up whether or not to leave for pastures new ahead of our latest Europa glory trail.
Daniel Levy has been ruthless with managers
Please let this be the one that works, this writer pleads having last week shelled out for another season-ticket with no more than blind faith as the reason. Especially now that that dastardly lot down the road have finally rediscovered what that tub of silver polish is for.
James Mariner is a Tottenham season-ticket holder of 11 years.
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