Who would you prefer managing your club: a coach with two Champions League wins, a Liga and the World Club championship in less than two full seasons in senior management, or a coach who, in eight years as a manager, has won nothing?: asks Jamie Carragher in an article in The Telegraph.
Zinedine Zidane or Mauricio Pochettino asks Carragher. He says based on their CVs you would go for Zidane, but Carragher does write you will not find a single Spurs fan willing to swap their coach for the Real Madrid legend.
He reckons if Zidane’s troubles continue in Spain he would be confident Pochettino would be the first name on the Real president Florentino Pérez’s Christmas wishlist.
Carragher says that Mauricio Pochettino is changing the perception of Spurs by following the tradition of his compatriot and former mentor Marcelo Bielsa. Carragher adds that Pochettino has absorbed Bielsa’s ideas but he is yet to shrug off one of the more unwelcome habits of his teacher.
Like Pochettino, Bielsa is lavished with praise, but Carragher points out his honours list is modest. He has never won a major trophy in Europe, and his last title was in Argentina in 1998 but he does say in doesn’t diminish Bielsa’s genius or scale of his influence but that the greatest managers want success to enhance their prominent standing.
Carragher does say Spurs are deserved of their praise but adds,in a compliment fans won’t like, they are the best trophy-less team he has have ever seen. He adds english football has never had a side play so consistently well without anything to show for it, yes there was Kevin Keegan’s entertainers of 1996 but Carragher says Spurs are vastly superior.
The Sky Sports pundit says that he felt Wednesdays win over Real Madrid was “like a statement performance” Carragher says he does not buy into the idea that Madrid are a fading force.
He does accept Real had two or three first team players missing, but he does point out they had not lost a group game for five years before Wednesday. He adds that they are a team packed with extraordinary players who were made to look an ordinary side.
He praises Pochettino’s line-up saying it demonstrated the youthful vigour that makes us one of the most exciting teams in Europe, and that Wednesdays showing was not a solitary impressive performance, but a level we have been building to for three years.
The Liverpool legend does say however the one thing the Tottenham team lacks is that winning mentality and asks if our players truly believe they can win the big trophies?
He believes for this to change, even though there is an emphasis on the need to retain stars such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane, that the most important man Spurs must keep is Pochettino.
Carragher is a big fan of Pochettino and said since moving into punditry Pochettino’s Tottenham are the team he has enjoyed watching most.
He says we are “everything you want in terms of balance, attacking, defending, bringing youngsters through and improving players”
He adds: “Their constant changing of their set-up from a back three to back four typifies Pochettino’s coaching skill. We see other managers do this and think it is because of uncertainty, not knowing the best team or system.”
Carragher enthuses saying it was a privilege to be at Wembley to witness that Spurs performance. He adds “As a neutral I am sure I speak for a lot of people in this country when I say it will be a shame if this manager and this team does not win a major trophy in the next two or three years.”
Carragher concludes saying the greatest managers not only collect silverware, but leave a lasting legacy and he reckons Pochettino can achieve both at Tottenham. If he succeeds, Bielsa’s student will eclipse his master.
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