Tottenham moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Leicester with a 2-0 win over hapless Aston Villa on Sunday.
A lot of the credit for Spurs title challenge and development has to go to Spurs Argentinian boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Tottenham’s fine form this season has led to speculation in the English press that the club have opened talks with Pochettino over a new five-year contract. However, the man himself seems calm regarding his future.
Not worrying about his future
Talking the speculation about his future, the Argentine told Sky Sports: “[My future] is not important. We need to fight every day and arrive at the end of the season in good condition.
“The club and the supporters deserve us to do our job. The most important thing is to keep working hard.
“I have three years left on my contract so it is not a big problem. I’m enjoying it a lot, we’re in a very good position with the team and the supporters.”
It seems Pochettino is quite happy with life at White Hart Lane and why wouldn’t he be? His team have their best chance of winning the top-flight title in the Premier League era and are highly-rated by a lot of neutrals.
His main strengths
George Michael may have sung about a smooth operator, but Pochettino is definitely a shrewd operator. When he arrived at Southampton he was a virtual unknown to a lot of Premier League fans.
Fans and media alike questioned the Saints decision to sack the dependable Nigel Adkins and take the risk of appointing a boss who had no experience in the English top-flight. The decision was an inspired one.
Pochettino moved the team forward and the Saints were no longer regarded as relegation fodder. The club from the south coast also benefited from his work in the transfer market and developing the squad, as the summer he left so did half his squad, with some setting up an enclave at Liverpool.
His good performance in the manager’s seat at Southampton earned him a move to north London and Tottenham, whose squad at the time contained a heap of deadwood. The Argentinian did well to restructure his team.
Pochettino has been very clever with his transfer dealings at Tottenham. Two of his summer signings Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli have been outstanding performers for the side from north London, while other Pochettino signings like Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Heung-Min Son have shown flashes of their talent.
His ability to spot a good player in the transfer market and his ability to develop young players has got to be admired. His football philosophy is not to be sniffed at either.
His footballing style may be what attracted first Southampton, and then Tottenham to the Argentinian. He likes to play expansive and attacking football, but his teams do it without losing their defensive solidity, which is sometimes difficult when teams attempt to play attacking football.
Could finish the season as champions
Pochettino’s side are very much in the race for the title and are odds of 9/4 second favourites to be crowned champions in May. It is difficult to believe that this is only his second season as Tottenham boss.
Spurs chances of winning the title now depend on Leicester slipping up in the closing stages of the campaign. The Foxes have slipped-up very few times this season, which is proven by the fact they have suffered just three defeats in the Premier League.
Tottenham have suffered just one more defeat than Claudio Ranieri’s side, but have also drawn one more game than the side from the Midlands. It is not inconceivable that Pochettino could win the title with the north London club.
The former-Espanyol boss has been linked with the Chelsea manager’s job, but at the moment he seems to have the perfect job. This season’s objective for his team was probably to challenge for a Champions League spot.
It looks like Pochettino and Tottenham will be in Europe’s elite competition next season. However for the good of the club and Pochettino’s developing young team it is vital that the north London club can keep him as their boss for next season.
If they do not win the Premier League title this season, then with a few key additions Tottenham’s talented young team have the potential to challenge again next season.
Pochettino seems to have built something special at White Hart Lane and it would be a shame if Spurs could not keep hold of their talented young boss.
Will Mauricio Pochettino be the Tottenham boss next season?