Tottenham: Why Pochettino and Spurs might not mesh

Mauricio Pochettino has never won any significant silverware as a coach or managed in a major UEFA competition

Though the general mood greeting Mauricio Pochettino's arrival at Tottenham is merry, Michael Lintorn harbours doubts...

"Though there are a few examples of mid-table Premier League managers successfully stepping up when given an opportunity – Harry Redknapp and Brendan Rodgers – there are far more who failed, such as Roy Hodgson, David Moyes, Mark Hughes and Graeme Souness."

18:00 Update: Pochettino has been confirmed as new head coach on a five-year deal, having been matched as high as 13.012/1 in the market. Dutch pair Louis van Gaal and Frank de Boer were both matched at odds-on prices for the role.


Mauricio Pochettino has sprinted in to 1.051/20 to be the next Tottenham manager since reports on Monday afternoon emerged that talks regarding his appointment had reached an advanced stage.

However, while hiring a coach who finished just two places behind Spurs with a Southampton squad assembled at far less expense, earning much lighter pay packets and nowhere near as established at the highest level is being greeted as a wise move, there are a number of concerns worth raising.

Most significant is the competition for the job as, despite the Lilywhites enduring a traumatic season in which they were often thrashed by the clubs above them and never truly threatened to achieve the desired top-four status, Frank de Boer and Rafael Benitez were judged realistic candidates.

That pair, who previously traded at 1.991/1 and 4.03/1 respectively yet are now 50.049/1 and 70.069/1 outsiders, have two major advantages over Pochettino that should influence Spurs.

One is that they both have trophy-winning experience, with de Boer squeezing four Eredivisie titles into his three-and-a-half years at Ajax, and Benitez winning the Champions League, Europa League, La Liga and the Club World Cup among much more.

The Spaniard also has Premier League previous and the impressive feat of obtaining something of substance - either silverware or a promotion - in his first campaign at seven successive sides, a sequence dating back to 1997.

Another quality that they offer that Pochettino lacks is having managed in continental competition. Benitez has not only contested plenty but won five European or international tournaments, while de Boer has three Champions League ventures and victories over AC Milan, Man United, Man City and Barcelona behind him.

The Southampton boss by contrast hasn't qualified for Europe since his dugout debut with Espanyol in 2009.

It is also perhaps a worry that both of his coaching jobs so far have asked him to perform a similar role, establishing a team in mid-table and integrating youngsters. The Argentine has never been in a position where top-six finishes are a minimum requirement and cup progress is demanded.

Though there are a few examples of mid-table Premier League managers successfully stepping up when given an opportunity - Harry Redknapp and Brendan Rodgers - there are far more who failed to deliver, such as Roy Hodgson, David Moyes, Mark Hughes and Graeme Souness.

Tottenham are 4.77/2 to crack the top four in 2014/15, showing how tough a task awaits Pochettino, especially as anything less could see him searching for fresh employment by next summer.

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