Tottenham legend Osvaldo Ardiles would not swap Mauricio Pochettino “for any manager in the world” and said his compatriot has enabled the club to compete with Europe’s best.
Pochettino guided Spurs to three wins from their opening three Premier League matches of the season before they were beaten 2-1 by Watford at Vicarage Road but Ardiles, who made 221 appearances for the club between 1978 and 1988, waxed lyrical about the club’s potential going forward.
Ardiles said the acquisition of Pochettino was a masterstroke by chairman Daniel Levy and paid tribute to both men for making Spurs one of the country’s top five clubs and a regular fixture in the Champions League.
“Over the last four or five years, Daniel Levy has had to make big commercial decisions about building a new stadium and building a team to fill it,” Ardiles told the Mirror.
“When you compiled a list of the five biggest clubs in England, Tottenham was probably not among them – on the fringes, in the margins, but not one of the big five.
“But now they have one of the best training grounds in the world and the new stadium is nearly ready.
“And the biggest decision of all by Daniel was to go out and bring in Mauricio Pochettino as the coach.
“I would not change Mauricio for any manager in the world: Under him, Tottenham has become a contender all the time, we are playing in the Champions League every year and last year we beat Real Madrid in the group.”
Following the defeat to Watford, Pochettino himself admitted that Spurs’ defence must improve if they are to challenge for the Premier League title, but Ardiles was optimistic in his assessment of the squad.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 2, 2018
“You must remember this Tottenham team is still very young,” said the 66-year-old, who won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1981.
“Harry Kane is only 25, Dele Alli is 22 – and the outlook for their squad as a whole is very, very positive.
“To bring players in, they would have to be better than the ones already at the club, so I admire them for sticking with players instead of panic-buying.
“I’m incredibly happy that we have kept certain players, like Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose, when a lot of people were saying they were off.
“So in all, it’s an exciting time to be associated with Tottenham – a wonderful manager, wonderful players, a wonderful training facility and, soon, a wonderful new stadium.
“They are competitive in every regard.”
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