Gary Neville: Why I like Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino
Gary Neville hails Mauricio Pochettino's impact at Tottenham Hotspur
Gary Neville has heaped praise on Mauricio Pochettino’s impact at Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs host defending Premier League champions Chelsea at White Hart Lane on Sunday as the north London side look to cement their push for a top-four finish this season.
Looking at Pochettino’s work over the last 18 months, though, there is not one negative word I could use
Tottenham equalled a club record after going 12 games unbeaten in the Premier League thanks to last weekend’s impressive 4-1 win against West Ham United at The Lane.
Pochettino has relied upon an English core this season, including reigning young PFA player of the year Harry Kane, as well as newly-capped England internationals Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Pochettino has successfully managed to stamp his authority at the north London outfit, successfully navigating potential pitfalls.
Neville wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: “This weekend Pochettino clashes with Mourinho in the big Sunday game between Spurs and Chelsea.
“With his move to Tottenham I wondered whether Pochettino would be able to affect the mentality of that organisation. Would he be able to get his own way with some of the players who were on longer-term contracts and could be awkward? Could he handle the complexities above, in the shape of Franco Baldini, the director of football, and chairman Daniel Levy?
“Every Tottenham manager for 10 years had run into similar complications. There was not the same sense of anything being handed to him on a plate, as it had been at Southampton.
“Looking at Pochettino’s work over the last 18 months, though, there is not one negative word I could use. There is nothing to dislike. Crucially, he won the power battle with Baldini, who has now gone, and has supervised an overhaul of the recruitment side, bringing in Paul Mitchell as Head of Recruitment from Southampton.”
Tottenham are five points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City ahead of Sunday’s London derby.
Spurs were 1-0 winners against Qarabag on Thursday night, booking their place in the Europa League last 32.