It was reported on Thursday that Newcastle United and their prospective new owners had set their sights on former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine has been out of work since leaving the North London club in November with his side 14th in the Premier League table.
Considering Newcastle’s recent fortunes this would seem somewhat ambitious but given the influx of money that the club is about enjoy, Pochettino is the obvious choice. Since taking over at Spurs in the summer of 2014, the 48-year-old has transformed the club’s fortunes, guiding them to four consecutive top four finishes and making them a regular selection for punters on the site Silentbet for Champions League qualification.
Under Pochettino, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Heung Min-Son developed into some of the Premier League’s outstanding players, while he reinvigorated the likes of Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen. Despite experiencing very little backing in the transfer market from the Spurs board, he built a very consistent side and even guided his team to the Champions League final in 2019.
The only blot on his copybook was perhaps his failure to win a trophy, although given the competition it should hardly be considered a failure. Spurs were not quite at Newcastle’s level when he took over, but they were not in a stable position following the departure of caretaker Tim Sherwood. A wrong choice at that stage could have seen all of the good work put in place Harry Redknapp undone, but Pochettino simply built on it.
At Newcastle, it is hard to say what he can achieve. With the current squad there are of course limitations, but if backed in the transfer market he could oversee a rapid change in fortunes. Furthermore, in Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and the Longstaff brothers, there is quality that has not yet been unleashed by Steve Bruce. With someone with the skills and track record of Pochettino at the helm, it will be interesting to see what they can achieve.