Mauricio Pochettino believes he helped to change the mindset of English football when he first arrived at Southampton.
Pochettino replaced Nigel Adkins in the managerial hot seat in Southampton back in January of 2013 and despite the decision to sack Adkins not being popular with the Saints faithful (Guardian), it did not take long for the Argentine to win over the St Mary’s crowd.
Under the former Spurs boss, Southampton played some terrific football and considerably outperformed expectations
In his first full season with the Saints, he led the club to an impressive eighth-place finish.
The performances of a numbe of Southampton’s player caught the eye of the big clubs in the Premier League and an exodus followed in the summer, with Pochettino himself being snapped up by Tottenham.
The 48-year-old has insisted that his Southampton side did not just help change the perception of how football should be played but also pushed English clubs to give young players more opportunities.
Pochettino told La Liga TV show Guillem Balague’s Talking Football (as relayed by The Daily Mail): “Football in England changed with that Southampton team of 2013-14, there is no other team that had as big an impact in changing the mindset.
“We arrived at a club with a president like Nicola Cortese who gave us what we needed to create something unique in English football. Our ability to adapt to a completely different environment was incredible.
“We found a group of players who wanted to learn from the experiences we brought from Spanish football, and with the quality to play a different style of football to that which everyone in English football was used to.
“Young players started to appear, and people started to trust in young players, also in the English national team.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Pochettino’s Southampton team could certainly be exceptional on their day and there is no doubt that their success pushed other lower to mid-table teams to embrace a more attacking brand of football.
However, to say that no other team had as big an impact on Premier League as his Southampton side is bordering on the delusional considering the great teams and managers English football has seen in recent decades.
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