The Argentine coach rose to prominence during his spells with Espanyol and Southampton, showing a desire to incorporate the style utilised by Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa, who coached Pochettino during his playing days at Newell’s Old Boys, is the idealised version of the coach, but for all his technical adeptness, he has little to show in terms of trophies. Intensely pleasurable football has won him plaudits rather than silverware, and it has been a common occurrence to see Bielsa’s sides thrust aside the opposition until the closing stages of the season, when fatigue catches up with his players and his game plan cannot be executed.
Pochettino has taken this style and put his own spin on it, focusing upon less intense pressing during games in an attempt to extend the durability of his players over the course of the season. He had all but perfected his style during his year-and-a-half with Southampton, before deciding to move to North London to take the reigns of Tottenham Hotspur. An indifferent start at White Hart Lane has brought a return of six wins and six losses from 15 games, and the club sit perfectly mid-table.
The coach has attempted to continue with his style upon changing clubs, but he has struggled to instil the right mentality in the players, who have failed to truly grasp his methods. An upturn in form in recent weeks saw the Lilywhites clinch successive victories over Hull and Everton, before losing to Chelsea despite putting in their best performance of the season. Fatigue appeared to have caught up with the players as Spurs stumbled to a 0-0 home draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday, and, despite the intense fitness-based training sessions that Pocehttino was reportedly running, he will have to rotate his squad to get the best out of them.
However, former Spurs player and manager Glenn Hoddle believes that the players at Pochettino’s disposal will never truly be able to work with the coach, regardless of how much he works with them.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the former England boss said: “There's a lot of talent there and the manager will try and get best out of the talent there.
“He's tinkered with it [their style of play], I saw them at home to Everton they were very positive, at Southampton he wanted a tempo and he got it.
“The personnel at Tottenham are different - they won't press as hard. It is something they have worked on at Spurs and something they will try and improve on.”
Although the improvements in recent weeks have shown that the side are capable of mirroring some sort of style that Pochettino wants, it is highly rumoured that the Lilywhites will be utilising the January transfer window to make some wholesale changes, with Southampton’s former head of recruitment Paul Mitchell leading the charge.