The achievements of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur have been well documented in recent months after he led them to a Champions League place last season. However, in football, the media, the fans and perhaps more importantly, club hierarchy, have an overwhelming tendency to let greed cloud their judgement. Tottenham Hotspur are no different and they will need to tread carefully this season with Mauricio Pochettino - Even if that means settling for a finish outside the European places this term.
Pochettino wowed the Premier League last term and was aided by the stunning performances of his players - in particular Harry Kane and Dele Alli. However, after a third place finish, Spurs should not be expecting much greater this season.
The Argentine was quick to implement his footprint on the team as he incorporated a free-flowing, attacking brand of football which White Hart Lane had been craving. Despite being pleasing on the eye, by the end of May 2016, Spurs had nothing to show for their impressive season. The Lillywhites could not even hold the local bragging rights as they ended the season with a whimper allowing North London rivals Arsenal to pip them into second place. Importantly, they have kept their key players and added reinforcements with the likes of Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen. However, last season they had luck on their side, as did Leicester City.
Nowadays, it is all too easy to fall into the trap door of relieving a manager of their duties and hiring someone with whom they believe will bring instant success. More often than not, this change is greeted with years of transition and disappointment. It is a trap door that Daniel Levy and the Tottenham Hotspur board know far too well and they will have hoped to learn from past mistakes in order to give Pochettino the time he needs to make Tottenham great once more.
Back in 2010, Harry Redknapp guided Tottenham into the Champions League for the first time with a fourth place finish in the Premier League. They repeated the feat a season later, before being knocked out by Real Madrid in the knockout stages. However, the following season, Redknapp was sacked after missing out on the Champions League in 2012. Spurs became greedy and the trigger finger of Levy began to twitch once more as Spurs missed out on the incentives that top European competition brings. White Hart Lane then faced two years in the mire under the tepid spells of Andre Villas Boas and Tim Sherwood. Reassess, go again, Spurs were back to square one.
Four years on, Spurs need to make sure they don’t repeat their mistake this time round. Pochettino has enhanced his reputation as a leading Premier League boss and Spurs should not be too expectant as they try and find a balance between domestic and European commitments for the 2016/17 season. The chances of Spurs having a repeat of last season are slim, especially with the other big clubs having strengthened considerably. The likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all spent considerably with both Manchester clubs being led by arguably two of the world's best managers. This Premier League season will be closer than ever and there will be at least six teams fighting for a top four place and finish above Tottenham.
Spurs have also been rocked by injuries to Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen recently and they will be relying on Harry Kane and Dele Alli to remain fit for large periods of what will be a gruelling campaign. In his third full season at the club, Pochettino needs time and there is no doubt that Spurs are heading in the right direction under the Argentine. But, we all know how fickle football can be. Prior to Pochettino Spurs had gone through ten managers in twelve seasons. If Tottenham hit a rocky patch of form the achievements of last season will be long forgotten about and tables will begin to turn.
The North Londoners should not be too disappointed if they do finish outside of the top four. A top six finish will be a realistic aim. Nowadays, managers are judged on silverware and it is only a matter of time before the next Premier League axe is welded over the head of a helpless top flight boss. If Spurs have a wobble, miss out on Europe, and fail to clinch silverware, it may be difficult for Spurs not to look elsewhere. Not many managers see out three years at one club as the greed and expectation continues to grow in the Premier League. Fittingly, Pochettino is now in his third year.
Of course, Pochettino is safe for now, but with the highs of last season still living fond in the memory, Spurs should not be expecting to eclipse that high anytime soon. A cup run may be their best bet, but Tottenham Hotspur is a work in progress and Mauricio Pochettino is doing everything right...so far.
Football Ticket Pad has Tottenham Hotspur tickets available for every Premier League match this season. Spurs Champions League tickets are also available at White Hart Lane for the 2016/17 campaign with Tottenham FA Cup tickets and Tottenham EFL Cup tickets also on sale.