At this point in the season last year, Tottenham Hotspur had 6 more points and were sitting 5 places higher up in the Premier League table. They also had a positive goal difference, whereas of right now it’s negative.
In charge for that (so far) superior season was Tim Sherwood. A man never really given a particularly fair crack of the whip, and who wasn’t well liked among the Spurs fans.
Those same supporters were considerably happier to have Mauricio Pochettino on board after he excelled in his previous position. Pochettino proved excellent at Southampton in the 18 months that he was there.
In his only full season with the club he managed to get them to the lofty heights of 8th place. A superb season that is now only marred by the increased success since his departure – The Saints currently sit in 2nd place and they don’t show signs of stopping.
Meanwhile Pochettino’s Tottenham are struggling to find form and find themselves in the bottom half of the table. Given the contrasting fortunes of the two clubs, it’s not hard not to question the job that Pochettino is doing.
Is the issue at Spurs deeper than the management staff? The current squad has plenty of talent, and they’ve added to that consistently in recent windows. There’s been plenty of money available to recent managers at White Hart Lane, but they’re not succeeding.
The resources and current talent are there for the Argentine but he hasn’t of yet produced the results. He is now approaching the amount of games that Sherwood was in charge for, and he has so far only managed to get marginally better results.
So how much longer will the powers that be at Tottenham give him to improve the situation? After all, he’s not been as effective as Andre Villas-Boas was, and he didn’t last long either.
The effect of performing below expectations in the league isn’t a as big deal for Spurs as it may be at some other clubs. Tottenham are under little financial pressure, so as long as they’re not in a relegation battle (which is certainly not going to happen) they can afford to give Pochettino more time.
A few quid will be lost with a lower finish, and a little pride, but they might welcome the lack of European competition in the following season.
Perhaps it’s time to stick with a manager for the long-term, regardless of whether their initial performances are optimal. Daniel Levy in particular has most certainly been gun-ho with his managers in the past with Spurs’ managers rarely getting more than a couple of years in charge under his damning eye.
Pochettino doesn’t seem like the ideal appointment currently, but it’s crucial that he’s given enough time to build the foundations. There’s no question that he should be doing better with the talent available but a few lesser seasons may lead to a brighter future, it’s up to Tottenham to decide if Pochettino is the man to guide them through those times.