It has been a tough start to the 2014/15 season for Mauricio Pochettino as his Tottenham side failed to hit the ground running.
Pochettino’s high-pressure, energetic style of play at Southampton was almost non-existent amongst the Spurs team in the opening fixtures of the season. However, with a few adjustments here and there, Pochettino’s managerial plans are starting to take shape at White Hart Lane.
One of the key successes for Pochettino has been installing the hunger of the youth into the starting eleven. The likes of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Ben Davies have all performed well; producing the energetic style and commitment that Pochettino looks for in his teams.
Harry Kane is the standout example of this. Before Kane, Spurs would often rely on the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado to lead the line. These strikers have simply failed to produce for Tottenham and their lack of work rate was a further frustration for Spurs fans.
Now that Kane has been given a run in the first team, Pochettino’s fortunes have changed. Kane looks a handful, a constant aerial threat who will happily do all the running it takes to help his team. Tottenham fans hail Kane by chanting ‘he’s one of our own’ and his performances on the pitch suggest that he really wants to perform well for his hometown club.
It is not just the youth team products who are starting to perform for Pochettino either. The likes of Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli have six goals each for Tottenham so far this season. Chadli only managed five goals in the entirety of last season, excelling under Pochettino this time around.
Christian Eriksen has scored some vital Premier League goals in recent weeks to grab important away wins for Spurs. His late strikes against Hull City and Swansea City gave Tottenham the three points and made a big difference to their standing in the Premier League table. The slow start to the season for the Argentine is now starting to gather pace and Tottenham look in more of a stable condition to push up the table.
Although Tottenham have improved as the seasons gone on there are still a number of issues that Pochettino should address.
The continued struggle of players like Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela will be a concern for the manager as they are only showing glimpses of what they can do. Seeing as the club invested over £50 million on both Soldado and Lamela in the summer of 2013, they have done little to repay the investment and Pochettino may look to sell the players in order to generate enough cash for his own transfer targets.
The unfortunate situation for Pochettino is that he finds himself working with a group of players that Andre Villas Boas spent over £100 million on. Therefore, it was always going to take time for the former Espanyol manager to shape the Tottenham team into something that suited his managerial style.
Despite this hinderance, Tottenham are now starting to string results together as Pochettino continues to make his mark on a team that needs rebuilding. If the manager can continue to implement his style into this Tottenham side then there is no reason as to why Spurs cannot continue to climb the Premier League table.