Carabao Cup Semi-Final Preview
With eight wins from 11 games, 24 points from a possible 33, Spurs have enjoyed their best ever start to a Premier League season. And yet a deep sense of malaise has set in around the club. Fans are disgruntled and Mauricio Pochettino has openly confessed that this is the worst he has felt over the course of the four years he has spent as Spurs manager.
The botched move back to White Hart Lane has been a major factor, with supporters seemingly growing tired of the lack of communication from the club. They are now staying away from Wembley, Spurs’ temporary home for the past season and a half. But Pochettino’s dissatisfaction is down to more than just stadium strife.
Mauricio Pochettino is taking inspiration from unusual places. pic.twitter.com/Mvn21kGkkF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 6, 2018
To distill the situation down, one must understand where Spurs are as a club right now. Pochettino has turned them into elite competitors, a mainstay in the Champions League. They are the only team to have finished in the top four in each of the past three seasons, illustrating the consistency with which the North London outfit are now playing.
But there exists a glass ceiling above Spurs and Pochettino, an ambitious character who talks of trophies and titles, finds that he is crashing his head against the glass ceiling. And so the Argentinean might well be laying the groundwork for a departure in the not so distant future, with Real Madrid believed to be interested in his services.
The Spanish giants came calling in the summer too, with Pochettino deciding to stay put. But what have Spurs done for Pochettino since then to prove that he made the right call? If Real Madrid offer him the job for the second time in the space of just a few months, will Pochettino be minded to turn it down again?
The lure of the Real Madrid vacancy is obvious. But if Pochettino really wants to take the next step in his management career he should hold out for the Manchester United job. At Real Madrid, there are various complex political issues to untangle. There, Pochettino would be burdened with an ageing squad and a web of egos in a divided dressing room.
At Man Utd, though, Pochettino would find a squad that he can draw more from. United also have their problems, with an imbalance evident in certain areas of their team, but their core is young, dynamic and more suited to the ways of Pochettino than their current manager Jose Mourinho, who has long looked something of a stylistic misfit at Old Trafford.
Pochettino’s ambition currently outstrips that of Spurs and so European football’s next best manager would be forgiven for plotting his next move. But he must do so carefully. A misstep at this juncture of his career could be catastrophic. On the face of things, a move to the reigning European champions might fit the bill. Dig deeper, though, and there’s a club in the North-West of England who would be a better fit.
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