Mauricio Pochettino verbally agreed a new five-year deal to remain as Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach yesterday. This, for me, is the signing of the season for the Spurs, who have come on leaps and bounds under the Argentine’s’ command.
Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at home to West Brom on Monday night all but brought an end to their title challenge this season. It has given Leicester City three games to get one win and the Foxes will almost certainty be lifting the Premier League title at the end of the season.
But whilst Leicester will be stealing the headlines for their truly remarkable season (and rightly so as well), Mauricio Pochettino will be taking Tottenham to their highest finish in the Premier League era, providing they finish in the top three.
This is quite astonishing when you look at their transfer record over the last two seasons. Tottenham have the lowest net spend out of anyone in the Premier League, with minus £9,100,000, which means they have spent less money on players than they have received.
It is even more astonishing when you look at the net transfer spend of the teams they are above in the premier league. To give three examples:
- Manchester City = +£161,450,000
- Manchester United = +£132,350,000
- Arsenal = +£78,600,000
Rather than spending ridiculous money on proven players, Pochettino has opted for an approach largely unseen in the premier league. He has brought through many players from the youth system and built his team around existing players at the club. In the Spurs’ starting XI on Monday, only three of the players were signed by the Argentine; Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld.
These three players, alongside Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, have been the core of the Spurs team this season. Alli has received the accolade of PFA Young Player of the Year, whist Dier has almost certainly ensured he will be in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI at the Euro’s, with a string of solid performances strengthening the Spurs midfield alongside Mousa Dembele.
And what’s more, these three key players only cost Tottenham £20,500,000, which is just over half the price Liverpool paid for Christian Benteke…
By having faith in the existing players in the club, and bringing through youth team graduates, Pochettino is developing a fantastic group of players. Not only are they fantastic, they are also very young. The oldest player in their last league game was Hugo Lloris, aged just 29.
Here are the ages of just a few of the Spurs stars, to give you an idea of the potential this team has:
- Kane = 22
- Eriksen = 24
- Alli = 20
- Dier = 22
- Lamela = 24
Not only is Pochettino verging on creating a legacy at Spurs, England aren’t doing too badly from it either. He has further developed both Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, who have had their best seasons to date as Tottenham full-backs. There could be a scenario where five Tottenham players start at Euro 2016; Walker, Rose, Alli, Dier and Kane. The only one out of that group who hasn’t yet cemented his place is Kyle Walker, who faces strong competition from Nathaniel Clyne for the right-back spot. The others, you would have thought, will certainly be on the team sheet for the opening game against Russia.
What does the future hold for Tottenham Hotspur?
Evidently there are a lot of if’s and but’s to take into consideration, the main one being whether Poch will be able to hold on to this group of players. Traditionally, Tottenham have been more of a ‘selling club’, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and even Micheal Carrick, are recent examples of this.
But if he can keep this team together, my belief is that the sky is the limit. Pochettino has already greatly improved his team since last season; they lost 12 games last season and so far they’ve only lost four. Last season their goal-difference was +5, this year it is +39.
This Tottenham team can win the league in the next few years, without a shadow of doubt. And whist the big guns like Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd are in a rebuilding period, next year they have a great shot. Surely they’ve got to be worth a punt?