Pochettino will turn Spurs into a force to be reckoned with

Having researched Mauricio Pochettino a lot I'm feeling a lot more confident about his appointment, he is better than mere results suggest.


Pochettino will turn Spurs into a force to be reckoned with


Pochettino uses his pressing game as a defensive and an attacking tactic. His sides are very effective at it, Southampton were a long way better than any other side in the league at it.

The Southampton wage bill is the 18th highest in the Premier league meaning there are only 2 teams with a lower wage bill. Clubs finish roughly where their wages indicate they should.

Wage Bill vs Finishing Position 2012/13 Season
Arsenal 4th - 4th
Aston Villa 8th - 15th
Chelsea 3rd - 3rd
Everton 10th - 6th
Fulham 9th - 12th
Liverpool 5th - 7th
Man City 1st - 2nd
Man Utd 2nd - 1st
Newcastle 11th - 16th
Norwich 16th - 11th
QPR 7th - Relegated
Reading 19th - Relegated
Southampton 18th - 14th
Stoke City 12th - 13th
Sunderland 13th - 17th
Swansea 17th - 9th
Tottenham 6th - 5th
WBA 15th - 8th
West Ham 14th - 10th
Wigan 20th - Relegated

Those with the high wage bills do well then you come to mid table where the wage bills are similar and it's here where you can see the effect managers have on sides and are thus able to rate their performances.

We don't have figures for 2013/14 season but the 3 teams who came up will have low wage bills, Hull, Cardiff and Crystal Palace thus we can assume Southampton would of had the 17th higest wage bill last season with 3 clubs having less.

One club surprises each year, Newcastle had a season, WBA had a season and now Southampton.

Southampton's success was build on pressing football. He took the same group of players Nigel Adkins had and transformed the standard of football relegation standard to easily the best of the rest, the top 7 effectively being in a different league.

The first thing Pochettino will do at Tottenham will be to introduce his high press and organise the defence. As such you may see our first incoming transfer activity to be a defender.

Pochettino reduces the opposition sides pass completion to 71%, the best in the league in his first season and 73% last season, again the best in the league. That figure alone tells us the importance he places on breaking up play through high pressure. Incidentally Spurs were the second best at last season at 78% which will surprise the fans who wrongly though we were playing with no defensive midfielder.

Statistics show that it's harder to complete a pass against a Pochettino side than any other side in the league.

The other important factor is Spurs broke up play deep in our own half while Southampton broke play up in the opposition half which of course poses a greater attacking threat. If we compare Pochettino to AVB who played a pressing game as well then we again see a difference. AVB's side broke up play a little above average, 10%, in the opposition half whereas Pochettino's side was 4% better than anyone else managing it 15% of the time.

To employ this high pressing tactic players have to be supremely fit and know their role inside out as well as the role of others. The old adage that you have to earn the right to play will no doubt be trotted out next season when Tottenham employ these tactics.

Paulinho will be a key factor in that I believe. We bought him to play that system because he has high energy levels as well as skill. Next season with the World Cup out the way I think we'll see a different player, the player that clubs around Europe are clamouring to get hold of.

Espanyol's pass completion rate was well above average for the Spanish league but it dramatically sunk when Pochettino left. At Southampton his pass completion rate in relation to Premier League averages rivalled Barcelona's to La Liga averages.

It is safe to assume then that Tottenham will have a high pressing game, attempt to win the ball in the opposition half and keep possession of the ball well. Tottenham will again be playing a lot of passes next season but it won't be gung-ho attack, there is no statistical evidence to suggest fast attacking play.

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Tottenham under AVB were a side that shot from outside the area and Pochettino's fgures with Espanyol suggest similar, they were consistently below average in shots from the danger zone, this improved at Southampton but was still below Premier League averages, though a lot better than AVB's Spurs. Without Gareth Bale in your ranks (48% accuracy 2012/13 season) shooting from distance is a low success method of football. Andros Townsend 59 shots 1 goal (2013/14 season) tells it's own story.

The figures suggest that Tottenham will attack through the middle next season rather than our traditional crossing style, but in a more effective way than AVB had us attempting it. His sides statistically play through balls at a higher rate than league averages.

The more I look into Pochettino the more I understand why we have appointed, the more I understand how we will play and the more excited I start to become.

If his methods are applied successfully, and there is no reason why they shouldn't be, then Tottenham will be one of the best pressing sides in Europe and that should make us a stronger force seeing us breaking into those Champions League places.

The question is how long it will take to implement.




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