Spurs fan Louis van Gaal and Spurs new boy Mauricio Pochettino; who will be fortunate and who will get the duck?

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admitted he has been a Spurs fan since childhood; with Jimmy Greaves being his favourite player. He also admitted that he came close to managing Spurs – his boyhood team – but went for United instead. I can understand that to a point. But will United give Louis the chance he deserves? What happens if he struggles in his first season? Will he go the same way as Moyes? If he doesn’t hit the ground running he will be in the sights of the United snipers. And no doubt that will give Moyes a chuckle. From a Spurs point of views we hope he continues where Moyes left off; a few more rungs down the ladder will do nicely. You never know; if our new manager does badly, along with United’s they might end up swapping positions. But no doubt that will be considered fantasy football at this point in time. Nevertheless Gaal’s position will be more precarious than Mauricio Pochettino’s position. Manchester United had stability for years (with a break and rest under Moyes) so their fans won’t understand anything other than continuous top 4 fighting position. While our fans – under Levy – have never seen or known stability so will probably just take it in their stride. However, we are getting used to 5th or 6th spot.

Van Gaal is supposed to be a disciplinary and even though the players accepted that under Alex, will they accept it under Gaal? I suppose they would if United are doing well, but questionable if doing badly. Of course both managers are unknowable’s. One has worked in top flight, but not in this country, the other has worked in the Premier League, but for a smaller club with totally different pressures.  As Spurs fans we all wish Mauricio well and United to finish well below us.

Mauricio Pochettino is an unknown force. Did well in his only two seasons at Southampton. His first season he replaced sacked manager Nigel Adkins in January 13. They finished 14th. His second and last season (before moving to Spurs) he finished 8th while playing attractive football. Impressive for a club like Southampton, but it would be below par if it was for a top club.

Before that he was at Espanyol. In January 2009 he became their manager, after replacing 2 coaches before him (from the same season). Espanyol finished a comfortable 10th. However, he might not be able to claim that he did it all-on-his-own-competence as, it is reputed, he asked for “Divine Intervention”. It does make you wonder that if he has such contacts why he didn’t ask for a higher placing than just 10th? If I had such contacts I would have also added global leader into the equation as well, along with winning the title. But to be fair on him he might have pissed off the Mighty One (no, not José Mourinho, but God; I know what you are asking; ‘what is the difference?”) so his request of “Divine intervention” might have been given as a trial run before He committed everything to Mauricio Pochettino’s cause. God works in mysterious ways, or so they say. He also might only work for Argentinians; remember Diego Maradona’s hand of God goal? And of course Ricky Villa’s magical goal for us in the FA Cup final against City. Well, that proves it then. Mauricio Pochettino is touched; I just hope he is touched in the right way and it benefits Spurs.

The following full season he did well and was making progress; it seemed. So much so that on 28th September 2010 Espanyol extended his contract for one more season. Was God really looking down upon him? He seemed to be on a roll. Two years later on the 26th November 2012, following a home defeat he was sacked. The club was at the bottom of the league with 9 points from 13. He was only two months out of work before Southampton jumped for his signature. So he seems to have the qualifications, as past failed managers had, to get Levy interested. So the signs are looking good (or not, depending on your sense of humour).

Mauricio Pochettino is either a very clever and ambitious manager, or his insights with Him above told him to jump before going the same away as he did with Espanyol. But experience can work wonders and sometimes failures can turn into rewards; at least I like to think that is what Levy is telling himself. It reminds me of a Churchill quote. Clementine, his wife, said (after he failed to win the general election in 1945) “your defeat might be a blessing in disguise”. Churchill’s response was “it must be very well disguised”. Leading to this moment in time for Levy he probably said to his board “what happened before is probably a blessing in disguise. If we wouldn’t have gone on this road we might not have had Mauricio Pochettino as our manager now”. So-true, so-bloody-true.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

12 COMMENTS

  1. You do not appear to realise that at Espanyol his efforts were sabotaged by the club selling all of his best players due to their bad financial situation. That is why they were bottom of the league, not because he was a poor coach. And it looks as if that is about to happen at Southampton where it is likely that half the first team will be sold this summer. Little wonder that Pochettino has see that writing on the wall before, and made the correct decision to move to Spurs.

    • Actually I did realise this, however, it doesn’t change what I said. I hope he does well and I will fully support him (as other fans should). Even though both clubs Southampton & Espanyol (had or might have sabotaged him) he hasn’t really been tested by a club like Tottenham so we are taking a chance. If he succeeds he will be a hero, if he fails everybody will be pointing the finger at Levy and we go through the whole procedure again. Let us hope our luck has changed for the better this time.

  2. Van-Gaal simply not our concern, Pochettino if given time could work, we must remain patient, the fact we do not have any big expectancy can and will work in his favour, good football played at tempo with players playing in positions in which they are best
    suited,
    I hope to see players already deemed a failure played and judged fairly, Saldado, Lamela, Chriches, paulinho etc, it feels to me we had champion flat horses jumping hurdles and then being critical of them
    me for one Mauricio Pochettino wish you all the best and hope we remain patient just remember one thing play exiting football with a passion we crave

  3. Now what does that tell us all about Spurs, Levy and ENIC ? A Spurs fan would sooner stick his neck on the block at Old Trafford in a situation he can never succeed in all the while Fergie is only a short memory away rather than come to the club he has always admired and had a soft spot for, blatantly obvious isn't it that people know Spurs are tightly governed by one man and there is no chance of success under the current format, no manager wants to be told who he is signing and no manager wants to be put in a situation where a team is continually selling its best players to fund new signings, Van Gaal is no mug he knows at united he can spend big and be in total control, I am sick and tired of reading about Spurs articles and the opinions of our fans who fail to recognise this obvious situation we have at the lane, FFS, ENIC HAVE TAKEN US AS FAR AS THEY CAN, AND NO MANAGER WORTH HIS CRUST WANTS TO WORK FOR DANIEL FUCKING,LEVY !!

    • Fourteen trophy's in last 8 years, big money to spend playing in front of 70`000 plus every week, or no trophy`s in last 8 years
      not a lot of money to spend playing in front 36`000, NOT SUCH A HARD CHOICE
      ENIC MAY HAVE TAKEN US AS FAR AS THEY CAN, BUT PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

      • I hear that "be careful what you wish for argument all the time" but in truth I think it is now time to take that gamble, we are not Southampton we are Spurs and whilst I have a realistic outlook on what we are noone can deny we have a huge fanbase and are a massive club, just bumming around and floundering along is not to be admired it is poor, sooner have a few lows and a few highs than just mediocre steady Eddie boredom,

        • Fair point but any buyer would look at the income and I`m not sure what we fans expect yes fan base is big and yes we are a big club, we have finished in the top 6 for a good few years now we are the fifth biggest spenders in the league so surely that`s exactly where we should expect to finish
          PLEASE BELIEVE ME I WOULD LOVE TO BE SMASHING THE FCUK OUT OF THE REST OF THEM BUT IT`S BUSINESS

        • Fair point but any buyer would look at the income and I`m not sure what we fans expect yes fan base is big and yes we are a big club, we have finished in the top 6 for a good few years now we are the fifth biggest spenders in the league so surely that`s exactly where we should expect to finish

  4. As a Spurs fan for many years I have witnessed many changes at the Lane. The latest with our new manager Pochettino puzzles me slightly.

    Looking at his CV I wondered (and still do ) what all the fuss was about.

    His time at Espanyol was’nt exactly outstanding and at Southampton he achieved 14th and 8th with a team which was virtually in situ prior to his arrival. Much much more will be expected at the Lane and quickly. As things stand I for one will give the guy every chance he won’t work miracles in his first season. So patience must be the order of the day but Chairman Levy as we know is not reputed to be very patient and without stability the team will not prosper. I can only hope that the knowledgeable football experts who made the appointment saw more than the bare facts and that Spurs steady the ship in the forthcoming season!!

    • One simple reason we employed him, he is cheap, he is not going to argue with Levy and we are a step up for him.. similar to every other bloody appointment Levy makes.

    • I think you know it will end in tears Bob and to be honest so does Levy, he knows he is giving trialist managers who command cheap wages a shot at the impossible all the while Enic continue to cream off the profits and invest little into the team out of their own pot, selling Bale and buying 8 idiots is not investing is it , Levy knows he can pay this clown off in 18 months and he does not have to argue with anyone ambitious who wants control, I can't understand how our fans can't see it, this is about the 4th trialist in the hot seat and Harry went partly because he was a loose cannon who Levy couldn't bully, all ends in tears, I just wish Daniel would tell our fans the truth about where he expects us to finish and we would all know the score, soon enough the idiots will even wake up to the fact that ENIC are investing in bricks and not players. .. all of which will make a nice tidy profit come the day Joe Lewis walks away having invested sod all into the playing side of things.. 700k net spend each summer ? are we Spurs or Leyton Orient ?

  5. Someone write an article on how stupid Daniel Levy is , Southampton give us a bloke who has won Diddly Shit, and then they go out and sign Koeman who won the double as a manager at Ajax, Won the Portuguese Super Cup at Benfica, the title at PSV, and the Spanish cup with Valencia, what happened there then Daniel ? was Koeman too strong a character for you ? was he earning too much money, they give us a C**T and land a legend !!!! what about Koeman for us then Levy ? sooner or later people will see it my way !! I am getting a few on board..

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