Bring Poch Home

Supporting Tottenham Hotspur is not easy at the best of times. 

In recent years we have been on the precipice of glory on a number of occasions, only to always fall short.

It’s been incredibly frustrating, but at least from 2014-2019 there was a presence at Tottenham that everyone could get behind – Mauricio Pochettino. He’s magic, you know!

Pochettino arrived in the summer of 2014, and the first thing he said to the fans was that he would try everything to make us proud of the football club. I think it is safe to say that he achieved that. He inherited a Spurs squad that lacked unity & quality, and yet still turned us into one of the most exciting Premier League sides of recent seasons. 

He transformed the likes of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, who prior to Pochettino’s arrival had only shown they had the potential to be great footballers. Even Mousa Dembele, the player who many figures of the Poch era credit as the best player they played alongside, didn’t truly make his mark in the team until the Argentinian Magician turned up at White Hart Lane.

That doesn’t mean Poch didn’t have his faults. His achilles heel appeared to be team selection in some of our most important matches. Some decisions that would prove to be costly include starting Son Heung-Min at wing-back against Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup Semi-Final (he would go on to concede a penalty) and of course naming a clearly injured Harry Kane in the 2019 Champions League Final at the expense of hat-trick hero, Lucas Moura.

Despite some of these crucial mistakes, during Poch’s time at Spurs we were able to witness a style of football that was genuinely thrilling, and most importantly felt very much aligned with the DNA of the club. He got Tottenham and we got him, it was a perfect match.

Of course, all good things must come to an end and in November 2019 this is exactly what happened. Things clearly were not right between Spurs and Pochettino at the start of the ill-fated 2019/20 season and eventually this would lead to the departure of the man we all loved.

It was painful to see him go, but I think it was the correct decision. The squad that had done wonders for Poch had grown stale and the barren transfer windows of 2018/2019 would finally catch up with us. Thanks Daniel Levy…

What followed has been a complete disaster. Jose Mourinho entered the frame and from day one succeeded in splitting a largely united fan base. Here we were appointing a Manager (or should I say Head Coach) with a completely different philosophy to the previous one whose glory days very much appeared to be behind him.

Aside from a brief spell in November 2020 when Spurs were top of the league, Mourinho’s time at the club was a miserable one for Spurs fans. It didn’t help that even in this positive period there were still fans moaning about Mourinho, and don’t get me started on the likes of Sky Sports too, but essentially supporting Spurs under Mourinho wasn’t enjoyable.

Frustration turned to anger and anger eventually turned to numbness. The state of numbness I feel about Spurs from the Mourinho era remains in part, and of course the whole ESL debacle only reinforced the fact that the man who appointed Mourinho and the company he works for does not care about the fans, and in an ideal world should do the honourable thing and sell the club. I’m not a fantasist though, there’s clearly no chance of that happening any time soon.

This brings me back to Poch. With rumours circulating that Spurs have opened talks with him, suddenly it feels like there are grounds to feel optimistic about the future of the club again.

I understand there are risks, the likelihood is even if Poch comes back he will not be afforded the chance to rebuild the same squad he was asking to rebuild only a couple of years ago…but at this moment in time I don’t really care.

The problem with Tottenham in the last 18 months or so is that there is suddenly an emotional disconnect between the fans and the club. Whilst the relationship between the owners and fans is unfixable in my opinion, the one good thing they can do at this point is make an emotional decision that makes people want to be ‘in that number’ once again.

Whilst for the first time in my life I will not be renewing my season ticket this season (ENIC do not deserve my money), the thought of Pochettino returning to Spurs fills me with so much excitement and hope. Who knows, maybe he could even convince Kane to stay? (Probably not, but we can dream!)

If we’ve learnt anything about Pochettino over the last few years it is that the man is magic, so please Spurs, give him the chance to cast his spells in N17 once more!

Joe Alexander

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