Spurs appoint Pochettino: will he lure Lallana to the Lane?
Young Argentine becomes the eighth permanent manager in 13 years under Daniel Levy
Mauricio Pochettino is the new head coach of Tottenham after the former Argentine defender resigned as boss of Southampton. The 42-year-old has signed a five-year contract with the north London club, and becomes Spurs' eighth permanent boss in the 13 years since Daniel Levy took control of the club.
Five of those managers have come in the last seven years and in the last 12 months Tottenham have worked their way through Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, the latter taking Spurs to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last season.
Pochettino was appointed manager on the back of Southampton's strong showing last season, the Saints finishing just two spots below Spurs in eighth, their highest ever position in the Premier League. It was all the more impressive considering Pochettino only replaced Nigel Adkins in January 2013.
Tottenham will present a bigger challenge, however, with expectations at White Hart Lane far greater than at St Mary's and supporters desperate for silverware after six years without a major trophy.
As The Times notes, the Argentine is "effectively Tottenham's third choice" after Louis van Gaal plumped for Manchester United and Levy shied away from making a play Carlo Ancelotti after he guided Real Madrid to Champions Legaue glory at the weekend.
Nevertheless Levy was upbeat in the official statement posted on the club's website: "In Mauricio I believe we have a head coach who, with his high energy and attacking football, will embrace the style of play we associate with our club," he declared. "He has a proven ability to develop each player as an individual, whilst building great team spirit and a winning mentality. We have a talented squad that Mauricio is excited to be coaching next season."
Pochettino, who won 20 caps for Argentina between 1999 and 2002, brings with him the back-room staff that worked with him at St Mary's. Jesus Perez, his assistant, Miguel D'Agostino the first team coach, and Toni Jimenez the goalkeeping coach are all heading for White Hart Lane. In addition The Guardian claims that Pochettino will ask Levy to make Southampton captain Adam Lallana one of his first signings.
"This is a club with tremendous history and prestige and I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to be its head coach," said Pochettino. "There is an abundance of top-class talent at the club and I am looking forward to starting work with the squad."
Pochettino's first challenge will be to get that 'abundance' of talent to start performing with the consistency expected by fans. In the summer of 2013 Spurs invested the £86m of the money the received from Real Madrid for Gareth Bale on seven big-name signings, notably the £26m they paid Valencia for Robert Solado and the £30m on Roma midfielder Erik Lamela. The latter made just nine appearances while frontman Solado found the net just six times in 28 league appearances.
"Tottenham Hotspur has a huge following across the world and I have great admiration for the passion the fans show for this team," said Pochettino. Passion, yes, but their patience is wearing thin.