Mauricio Pochettino was a relative unknown when he walked through the doors at St Mary’s in January 2013.
During his playing days he was an Argentina international, who also played for Espanyol and PSG. Before arriving at Southampton he had also enjoyed a spell as manager of Espanyol.
He was coming in to replace fan favourite Nigel Adkins, who had led the Saints’ charge up from League One to the Premier League, yet could not replicate that run in the top flight.
At Southampton, Mauricio turned up using a translator to speak his English for him, yet still managed to get results and avoid relegation, with his first match being a 0-0 draw with Everton, and getting his first win with a 3-1 victory over Man City.
What followed were good results against Tottenham and Chelsea, leading Saints in the 2012/13 season to finish 14th: a brilliant position considering where they were when he joined.
It was in the 13/14 campaign that Pochettino really started to earn his plaudits, leading the Saints to 8th. It proved that this was a team on the up, but what caught the public eye most was the fact that he had pushed through a lot of English talent.
Players like Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork, Nathaniel Clyne, Callum Chambers and Sam Gallagher were all given opportunities to shine. Of these players, only Cork and Ward-Prowse are yet to earn England call-ups.
When he joined Tottenham in 27th May 2014, it was viewed as a good appointment for the club.In his first season at White Hart Lane he led Spurs to a fifth place finish in the Premier League and took them to the Capital One Cup final, where they lost 2-0 to Chelsea. What Pochettino will be better known for, though, when people look back on his time at Tottenham is his ability to work with what he has and bring youngsters through.
Pochettino has been one of England’s greatest resources since Hodgson became England manager, helping to bring through ten England debutants.
With his eye for quality players, though he may not be English by blood, there is no reason why he can’t continue to have a big influence upon English football in a few years to come.