Manager Watch: Is this Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino's greatest strength?

Nine months into the Argentine's reign, a look at what he's done well and not so well so far this season...

Last week, Paul Scholes made the claim that Mauricio Pochettino is the best young manager around, suggesting his greatest strength is the faith he places in younger players.

And, while the Tottenham Hotspur boss may have his critics (doesn't anyone?), few can deny he's making a promising go of things in his debut campaign at White Hart Lane.

Nine months into that campaign - and ahead of a crucial Europa League clash with Fiorentina - might be a good time to review exactly what Pochettino has brought to north London.


- Plenty of Premier League coaches talk the talk when it comes to discipline and intensity - but few deliver actual results like Spurs boss Pochettino. The Argentine's demanding nature in training has been well documented and you only have to look at how Tottenham press and finish games strongly to see the rewards that approach has reaped.

- The Scholes Theorem: the 42-year-old is also unafraid to promote relatively unknown stars - or players lower down the pecking order - ahead of Tottenham's more established players. Ryan Mason's rise has been meteoric this term and the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Eric Dier have been presented with huge chances by Poch - chances they have taken.

- The Argentine has delivered in two of the biggest occasions on any Spurs fan's calendar. Tottenham are undefeated against Arsenal this term and beat the Gunners at White Hart Lane. Pochettino also produced a sweet tactical victory over Jose Mourinho during a 5-3 win over Chelsea, while reaching the Capital One Cup final outside of the league.


- No coach, especially a young one, is perfect and Pochettino is no exception. Like many of his adversaries, the Spurs boss believes in his own way and rarely deters from that philosophy. As such, Tottenham's wing-backs - particularly Danny Rose - are forced to push up relentlessly every game. That causes weaknesses and defensive errors that have yet to be addressed.

- Tottenham's biggest success story this term is undoubtedly Harry Kane. But Pochettino deliberated extensively before finally starting the 21-year-old. In many ways, the Spurs boss looked like the last person to realise Kane was capable of first-team wonders. He has been similarly slow to deploy certain players in their best positions, such as Mousa Dembele.

Overall verdict: 7.5/10

Taking everything into account, then, the Tottenham coach looks to have a promising future at White Hart Lane, should a disastrous run of results or failed transfers not account for him like it has done many of his predecessors.

To have Spurs so close to the top four and in a cup final - as well as remaining in Europe - is a remarkable achievement for a manager in his first season at the club. As Scholes suggests, meanwhile, his strong faith in unlikely sources of success may well be his biggest plus point as a manager. But there is always room for improvement...

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