Are Tottenham a better side now than when they last visited Southampton?

Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur's game at Southampton this Saturday is sure to be used as a indication of the club's progress under Mauricio Pochettino.

Flashback sixteen months, Tottenham travelled to play Southampton at St Mary's seeking to once more bridge the gap between themselves and those in the Champions League qualifying places.

Sound familiar? Well, Spurs travel to the South Coast again this weekend, and again find themselves some way off the promised land of the top four.

So have they made any progress since the last time they visited the Saints - an occasion where they ended up claiming three points?

At that point, Tim Sherwood had just taken over at White Hart Lane, and the North Londoners were in seventh position in the Premier League. The now-Aston Villa boss would take Spurs up to sixth position in the league during his few months in charge, and would, as he delighted in reminding those listening, leave the club with the best winning percentage in the league in the modern era.

In terms of personnel, Tottenham still had Gylfi Sigurdsson on their books in the visit to the South Coast, as well as both Jermain Defoe and Lewis Holtby to call on from the bench. One big difference was that Sherwood had a rejuvenated Emmanuel Adebayor to count on in attack, with the Togo striker netting a match-winning brace in what would end up as a 3-2 victory. Nabil Bentaleb also made his debut, replacing the injured Mousa Dembele early in the second half.

Christian Eriksen started in that game, though had yet to really settle in the league, while Harry Kane would make his mark for Spurs closer to the end of the season. Ryan Mason was on loan at Swindon, with few predicting he would be an England international by the end of the next season, while the likes of Eric Dier, Federico Fazio and Ben Davies are players that have joined since Mauricio Pochettino took over last summer.

Pochettino was of course Southampton manager on that day, and it was the first of three occasions that the Argentine would come up against a team managed by Sherwood and go home without any points.

A concern for Tottenham fans would be that, aside from a couple of impressive results and the emergence of some homegrown players this season, the team has failed to really move on since that Southampton win in 2013. The wins against Chelsea and Arsenal were superb earlier in 2015, but Spurs have struggled to replicate that form since, and they suffered disappointment in the League Cup final at the start of March.

Harry Kane is of course the one huge plus to come out of the club since that time, but in terms of performances and objectives, the club are still short of their goal of making the Champions League.

Pochettino will be keenly aware that a defeat to his old side will leave Spurs in seventh spot once more in the league, the same position they were in before the 2013 fixture, and even more importantly, outperformed by a team that lost their manager and several star players in the summer.

Southampton have shown exactly how to make quick progress, and find themselves much closer to the Premier League's big clubs this season, even if they are only a position higher than they finished the last campaign.

So what do Spurs fans think - have the club actually made progress under Pochettino this season, or were they exactly the same, or even worse off than when Sherwood guided them to a 3-2 win at St Mary's in 2013? And feel free to leave your comments in the section below!

Are Spurs a better side now than when they last visited Southampton?
Yes, they have been better this season under Pochettino
They are at roughly the same level
No, they have gone backwards this season
poll
 

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