The best managers ultimately win titles and also titillate the watching populace with their style of play but the more important index for measuring a successful manager are titles and trophies.
On this particular count, Mauricio Pochettino’s stands at zero!
Mentioned amongst the managers that could be thrown the poisoned chalice that is Real Madrid, the former Espanyol defender, now 46 must know that taking out wishful thinking, he may never win anything with this Tottenham side that he built up credibly.
Not because he cannot but because Spurs will never enter the market to give him the tools he needs to challenge at the very top. This is not blaming the club or the chairman, Daniel Levy – it is just the way of the club at the moment. They are set up to do business by growing unknown players and selling them for a premium.
Add the delays on moving back to the redeveloping White Hart Lane, and you will begin to understand Pochettino’s frustrations. At the tail end of October with Tottenham in the top five on the English Premier League, after their best start to an EPL season, Pochettino said, “The season so far, it’s strange because my feeling is the worst feeling I’ve had in the five years that I’ve been here.
“It’s the worst. My feeling, but it’s the best start ever for the club in the Premier League. It’s strange, no,” he asked reporters rhetorically.
This was before his team was outplayed by Manchester City on a Wembley pitch that had been trodden into soddenness by visiting players from America’s football league.
Mr Pochettino continued: “I don’t know, it’s so difficult to explain because many things happen, I am disappointed we are still waiting for the new stadium when the expectation was to be there at the beginning of the season.
“I don’t know, many things happened in the summer, many things that make myself not in my best mood or best humour. I know I always have a good relationship with you [the press] but my feeling is not the best feeling, I had a better feeling in previous seasons.”
If that was a subtle message passed to the board, there has been no reaction as it was confirmed that Spurs will not get back to the familiar surroundings of White Hart Lane until sometime in 2019.
There is no doubt Pochettino has done a fantastic job since taking over the managerial seat at Spurs. The mark of his good work was that his players formed the bedrock of the England team that went all the way to the semi-final at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He missed the EPL title by whiskers in 2016 and has consistently led his team to play in the UEFA Champions League but it has always been a road too far for the Spurs.
Should he cut the link and move?
At best, the North London club could previously be described as a top half team, with an average league position between eighth and ninth in the EPL era. The best season before Pochettino’s arrival was a fourth-place finish under Harry Redknapp.
He has continued to moan, “I think, like a team, we still didn’t win nothing. We fail but we achieve. And of course always when we arrive at like a final game, we always fail.
“It’s about learning to compete. It’s about learning to be better. It’s about changing something we need to do different.”
Maybe all he really needs to change is his own address – from London to Madrid and the good times will come!