Mauricio Pochettino is in the midst of building quite a legacy for himself as a manager. Having started his career at Espanyol, Pochettino got his big break in England at Southampton – and he gladly took it with both hands.
Transforming the Saints from a struggling Premier League outfit into a regular in the top flight, a lot changed within the space of a year at St Mary’s. By the end of the first season, Southampton had their highest ever Premier League finish, and they certainly had Pochettino to thank for that.
A year later, when Tottenham came calling, Pochettino had little choice but to move on. It was certainly a natural move for the Argentine: he had left Southampton in a far better state to what the club had been in when he arrived, so his tenure at the helm was undoubtedly a success. His spell at Tottenham has been even more successful, and in the near three-year spell that he has had at the helm, the Lilywhites are almost unrecognisable.
Now a regular feature in the top four with a hefty Premier League title chase last season behind them, Tottenham are certainly a club on the up. Pochettino has done everything right so far in his career, and he has always looked to move up both on a personal level and with regards to the team that he is managing. Now, with the 2016/17 season edging closer to its end, it’s time for Mauricio Pochettino to move up yet again. Conveniently, Barcelona are going to have a job opening at the end of the season, and that is a position that is perfectly suited to Pochettino.
Already on the shortlist and highly thought of at Barcelona, Pochettino would, in many ways, be the perfect man for the job.
Take his playing style for example. At Tottenham, he has utilised a system not too dissimilar to that which has been made famous at Camp Nou. Every player is often involved, passes are short and quick, and Tottenham have regularly been able to break at pace and score within an instant. His style would transition seamlessly to Barcelona, and so it is no surprise that Camp Nou brass are fond of the Argentine.
Beyond that, you also have his heightened focus on youth development. Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy has overseen the schooling of some of Europe’s most exciting footballers, and like managers before him, Pochettino would feel right at home making use of that system. Harry Winks has enjoyed an insurgence into the first team this season, and with the quality available in the Barcelona academy, the number of recuits is only going to go up with Pochettino in charge.
Now, certainly, the manager is building something of a legacy at White Hart Lane. The club are currently in the midst of building a new stadium, whilst they seem to be getting closer and closer to the Premier League title every year. Pochettino wouldn’t want to leave the club, but it might just be the best move for his career. He might publicly deny his interest, and he might even personally want to stay, but for the betterment of his career, a Barcelona switch just makes sense.
Back in 2014, it was a very natural step for Mauricio Pochettino to swap Southampton for Tottenham. Now, a few years later, the natural step for the Argentine boss is to move once again. And Barcelona is the perfect destination.