The 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the weekend was Mauricio Pochettino’s 52nd Premier League win as manager. It seems a fitting milestone to review his first 100 games and also look to the future.
Despite Tim Sherwood’s best efforts to tell everyone he is a record-breaking Spurs manager, it is Pochettino who has the highest win percentage after 100 games in the Premier League. This in itself is by no mean feat, especially when you consider the quality of the managers and teams before.
Harry Redknapp for example had the better individual players. He had the likes of Bale, Modric and King at his disposal. However it has become evident that the team spirit in the dressing room at the moment is a massive factor for the success of Pochettino’s teams.
It is very well documented that the dressing room that Pochettino walked into was full of overpaid mercenaries such as Kaboul, Capoue and Adebayor. We have all since heard stories about what Adebayor did, or more importantly, did not do in training sessions. The first step for Pochettino was to clear out the rubbish.
Two and half seasons on from that, we can evidently see the difference of personalities in this group. A squad of young, hungry players who are willing to fight for big results in games. They won’t simply cave in anymore or start tying their boots whilst the game is underway, like Kaboul infamously did away at Man City.
Spirit, Solidity and Creativity
The team spirit of the current group is even more evident when you look at the amount of late goals the team gets, it just shows a great togetherness that I have rarely seen from a Spurs side.
The defensive solidity is something I have written about in the past but this is the key change Pochettino has made to us. Unlike AVB, who also made us into a more defensive unit, we are still able to get our fair share of goals. Last season we ended up as the second highest scorers in the league. Especially in the big games, our performance levels have improved drastically. The fans no longer feel they will get beat in a big game.
Since his arrival, Pochettino seems to have united the fan base into such a positive mind-set. Everything that happens to the club is always viewed with a positive spin by Pochettino and this has fed onto the fans. We rarely see dark moments in seasons anymore with fans no longer calling for Levy out or any other kind of disgruntlement.
A bright future
The future for Spurs is looking very bright indeed. The new stadium build is well underway, as is the redevelopment of the surrounding area. Tottenham will be hoping that Pochettino is a part of that bright future. They must keep hold of the Argentine and reject any approaches from other big clubs that may come knocking, such as Real Madrid.
With the great promise his first 100 games have shown, it is quite possible we could see a league title heading our way. As fans we look forward to the development of our team on the pitch, as they will only improve as they play more games with each other.
Overall the first 100 games for Pochettino have been extremely successful in setting the foundations for the building of a team that is able to compete at the top of the league, as we proved last season. As fans there is plenty for us to get excited about, however most of this relies on Pochettino staying where he is. Of course the young team is going to show moments of inexperience and failure, but with Pochettino at the helm, Spurs fans can always remain optimistic about the direction of the club.