One of Mauricio Pochettino’s first tasks when he took over Tottenham in May 2014 was to sort out the poor mentality at White Hart Lane.
It’s all very good playing dynamic football but if you can’t handle the heat yada yada yada…….
He found a collectively weak mentality when he arrived and set about from the word go to to sort it out.
To him, everything is related to energy and it not only drives his team’s relentless energetic style it is the hallmark of his style. He demands that his players run themselves into the ground – most notoriously, during his hard core pre-season training sessions but, also, that they are prepared to push to the death of every game.
At Spurs, there was always that “soft underbelly”, a side unable to see out games or who hadn’t the muscle or nous to compete physically. It was the case in 2014, & similar in the 2015/16 season but last season it improved immensely, Victor Wanyama is the definition of a “Poch Player”, tough, energetic & runs through brick walls. A Tank .
It takes a specific type of player to click with Mauricio,to buy into his style and motivational techniques, and he inherited plenty who could not & those who couldn’t were swiftly & ruthlessly in some cases, dumped. I also believe it’s why we don’t just throw money anymore at Players. They have to be able to buy in to his “revolution”
Poch’s first few months at the lane were fairly underwhelming, not really helped by Ronald Koeman’s flying start at St Mary’s in Poch’s old hot seat but the turning point was in a 2-1 over Aston Villa when sub Harry Kane would come on & score a deflected free kick to win the game. 10 of the 18 players in the match day squad that day have since moved on.
Poch’s age allows him to be almost matey with his players but also he’s old enough that he can command a distance. He makes it his business to know everything about his players, the finer details ; how they react and, crucially, how they feel. Supposedly behind the scenes at Hotspur Way, He relies upon intuition before making the important decisions. Mauricio likes his whole squad to feel good , he’ll talk them up even the development squad, the reserves, all his players. He does it because he feels they all need to feel wanted that they know they are part of his plans & When they are required , & even though they cannot flick a switch and just perform, Poch works on them so that they are ready, willing & able if/when called on ,it’s important to him that there is collective chemistry; a family feeling within the club.
He demands loyalty but gives it in return. A key component Pochettino’s revolution, is his mentality which allows him to have full confidence in all his squad, we lost Harry, Toby, Danny, Jan & even Hugo at variant stages last season but he didn’t complain about injuries unlike other managers would, he just got on with the job at hand. Pochettino’s success at the club has been amazing on several levels even if there is no silverware to show for it.
His remit was to establish the club in the top four, to be regular Champions League participants. He’s done that & I think he has exceeded expectations , he has had us in title contention in successive seasons & unlike his predecessors or indeed his peers it has been done on a relative shoestring budget.
After several false dawns, Daniel Levy has found the man he’s been searching all his tenure for, the mutual respect between the men is one of the key factors to our relative success & Daniel’s confidence & trust in Mauricio has allowed the manager full control, something Daniel Levy has NEVER granted any manager.
The Pochettino revolution is in full tilt, he demands loyalty & gives it return, there isn’t a better young manager out there. He does not see silverware as the route to validation. He is consumed, instead, by hard work & loyalty to his philosophy. Silverware would be a consequence, but the revolution is the ultimate goal.
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