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Five things for Pochettino to do before he is sacked in December 2015

By Tony Attwood

Judging by what has happened across the years since 1996, we can make a fair prediction about what will happen to Mr Pochettino – the new Tottenham manager.  Primarily we can say that he will be sacked in December next year.  Such a sacking would make him an average Tottenham manager.  Anything earlier, he would be in the worst bunch of what are amusingly called “permanent managers” who go quickly.  Anything later than December and he would be knocking in an above average performance.

So what should he be doing in his next 18 months?

First, he needs to sort out his pay-off demands.  Employment contracts are serious matters under UK laws, and breaching such contracts (an activity Tottenham H are serial offenders at) results in the offender having to make good.

Not many such offences (and there can be around 10 per year in the Premier League alone) end up in employment tribunals (the legal setting for such matters in England and Wales) but instead, employers tend to pay up big time.  Indeed not sacking Wenger has saved Arsenal millions and millions compared with Tottenham, since 1996.

Second, Mr Poc. needs to learn about St Totteringham (also known as St Totteridge) Day.  It is embarrassing when, in Q and A sessions a manager really shows that he doesn’t quite get local custom and practice.  So when he hears the crowd at the Ems sing “It’s happened again” he could be rather bemused if he hasn’t got a grip.

Third, he needs to ask his board of directors if they can do something about Tottenham’s away support.  Tottenham don’t carry flares and smoke bombs in the style of Liverpudlians, but a few did throw stuff at ambulance men and Theo Walcott last season and this really isn’t very nice.   Banning orders on naughty away supporters, which should have been introduced after the disgraceful scenes at Portsmouth when Sol Campbell was playing there, should be introduced now, and fast, and the manager can have some influence here.  Failure to act will do his reputation no good.

Fourth, he ought to ask a question or two about the stadium.  Like, why has it not been cleared for building yet, when is it likely to be started, when might it be finished, and why suddenly does it appear that against all previous statements the ground is likely to be closed for a year during redevelopment?  And will they actually have to play in Milton Keynes?

Of course El Poc will probably not be here when the Tiny Totts move but it is important to get a grips with the future vision of the club.

Fifth, he must be aware that although a “pressing style” as it is known, can work, it tends only to work when you have total discipline in the squad.  And a squad that includes Adebayor does not have total discipline.

That high-tempo style can of course work very well, as it involves basically disrupting the opposition, but it is not the traditional style that Tottenham supporters over 65 years old look back on with fondness in the black and white movies.

There is also no real indication if the vast array of footballers brought in with the Bale money will actually want to play this style.  Maybe they will, maybe not.  We shall see.  But it is more than likely that some coming and going is needed.

Which brings us on to sixth – he needs to get some of the men brought in before and after the Baleistic departure, to play as a team.  £107m was a lot of money to spend, and what one tends to get in buying lots of kiddies all at once is a bunch of kiddies who each see themselves as the top dog.  What does one say to Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela?

Soldano in particular does not look right for a team-wide pressing game.  But if a club tries to sell on a £26m player after one year, then prices can drop as the player is obviously labelled a failure.

Such matters are even worse with Lamela, the record signing of the Tinies.  So one might say that The Boss might want an urgent talk with The MD to see if they can’t just cancel Lamela’s contract and write the loss off in a bit of creative accounting.

Next up (sorry I’ve lost count now, but it is over five) there is that old joker, “the winning mentality”.  I have no idea what that actually means in practice.  Wenger supposedly (according to the AAA) doesn’t have it – despite having won the FA Cup five teams.  But the critics say that Tottenham don’t have it either.

Maybe it means focus.  Maybe it means being able to defend.

He also has to show that he is not Tim Sherwood and not Arsene Wenger while at the same time suddenly revealing that he does speak English after all.  That bit should be easy since most TV pundits are singularly lacking in linguistic skills.

But what he can’t do is carry forward his philosophy of focussing on bringing players through from the youth team.   That approach takes time – lots of time – and for every youth player that makes it, 10 more don’t.  Do Tottenham have a Zelalem and a Gnabry?  You tell me.

And in a sense this is what makes The Poc’s appointment an odd one, because he was previously with Espanyol and Southampton – two clubs not expected to win anything.   Now it can be argued that in 99% of the footballing country, Tottenham are not expected to win anything.  But in Tottenham they are expected to, because the twice won the Football League, back in the middle of the last century – and these things matter.

Now with those two clubs, the lack of expectation allowed the manager time to bring on the kiddies and see what happened.  But you don’t have time with Tottenham.  You have 18 months. And with £107m spent on players there ain’t much money either.  Maybe they should have gone for a wheeler dealer like…. oh… I dunno…   Is Arry available?

So there it is.  He needs to learn about St Daniel’s Day, St Tot’s Day, that rather annoying stadium issue and the details of when Tottenham last won something.  They are currently 10th in the “since they last won a trophy” table having won the Football League Cup in 2008.

It is important to know these things when moving into the High Road, Tottenham.  (Let’s hope he didn’t make the mistake of thinking that the Tinies ground is actually in White Hart Lane.  He could be wandering around the little road for ages – it is quite long.  So maybe that’s the last thing he has to learn.  Tottenham’s ground isn’t in WHL and never has been.

Those who have trod these steps before…

  1. Chris Houghton 1997-1997
  2. Christian Gross 1997-1998
  3. David Pleat 1998-1998
  4. George Graham 1998-2001
  5. David Pleat 2001-2001
  6. Glenn Hoddle 2001-2003
  7. David Pleat 2003–2004
  8. Jacques Santini 2004–2004
  9. Martin Jol 2004–2007
  10. Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2007-2007
  11. Juande Ramos 2007-2007
  12. Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2008-2008
  13. Harry Redknapp 2008-2012
  14. André Villas-Boas 2012 – 2013
  15. Tim Sherwood 2013-2014
  16. Pochettino 2014-

26 comments to Five things for Pochettino to do before he is sacked in December 2015

  • oldgroover

    Pochettino seems a likeable enough bloke who you would normally wish “all the best” to, but not this time of course. So as I won’t go down the COUCH-POTATO MANAGER route and advise on how to run his squad, I’ll just say: get your exit strategy in place and best of luck for the job after.

  • Ignoring the stats when they don’t your way I see, Tony. 97% of references means that St Totteringham’s day is not also known as St Totteridge day. You want to be a buster of myths against Arsenal on this site, which is extremely laudable, yet you continuously perpetuate one of your own for some reason I can’t fathom, despite the fact you’ve been informed of your error. Can you not see the irony in such behaviour on a site with such aims as this one has?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    We would all just luv it when he starts replying questions in a cockney , innit ?
    Or would we give a “crispy duck ?”

    http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk/slang/crispy_duck

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Pochettino seems to be less likely to trumpet his own cause a la Harry and Tim. Seems to be a nice enough bloke.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And from the same …..

    Spuds
    Spuds is Cockney slang for Cold (derived from Potatoes in the Mould).
    “It’s spuds tonight!”

  • insideright

    According to the Arsenal website today our 66.07% win rate last season was the highest in the Clubs history. And we don’t have a win mentality and Wenger is a serial failure. Funny that.

  • JohnW

    St. Totteringham, Why neglect Tony’s ingenuity? Besides, it all means the same to me!

  • menace

    St Totteringham – do not get too worried about terminology. Couch potato and spud are similar except spud has not seen anything other than arse-nal above them.

    Poc marks a new verse in the done it again song. You’ve done it again – a now cock in the coop…..bang ….. feathers everywhere! you’ve done it again.

  • menace

    Look out Wenger – you’ve got Maureen to the right of you ‘hetti to the left…. 😈 .

  • Kelser

    Nice article! Just one thing, I think poor Poc can speak english, he just uses an interpreter for interviews. I may be wrong.

    @Walter Thanks very much for the delivery, they have pride of place in my living room, and one for my jealous friend too? You’re too good!

    COYG!

  • nicky

    When a football club has someone of the ilk of Harry Rednapp (and his overseas dog) as longest serving manager over the past 17 years, the ability of the owner must be questionable.

  • Robl

    You forgot no. 6 – Fake a look of eternal gratitude for whatever “talent” Mr Baldini may shovel your way, and make sure you play them even if the club has better players already.

  • gouresh

    I am no expert, but this appointment, i really don’t get. They want to get into the 4th spot with Poc? Surly they could have got someone with more experience?

  • Mandy Dodd

    He needs to get a fake tan because he will be spending whatever time he has there in a very large shadow

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    I am surprised that when Levy appoints a new manager that the first thing they don’t give the sorry-ass motherfucking shit for brains moron who takes the job isn’t a blindfold and a cigarette. HA HA HA HA !!!!!

  • Pete

    Gouresh – But Tottenham are an alsoran club – why would they be able to attract managers with experience/success? Particularly if the poor so-and-so knows that his shelf life is likely to be measured in months rather than years?

    Heard an interesting, allegedly true, tale this evening.

    Apparently, after their Chelsea drubbing (no disgrace – happened to us too), Sherwood marched into the dressing room where all the players were sat looking downcast, apart from our old friend Adebayor who was standing stark b*llock naked about to go for his shower. Sherwood spent a few minutes giving them all a shellacking, at which point Adebarndoor said “the trouble with you all is that you do not have a winning mentality”, at which point one of the Kyles said “why do you keep having a go at Danny Rose? It’s not on”. In response Barndoor replied “I am not having a go at Danny Rose”. Kyle then repeated his accusation and Barndoor repeated his response. This went on for 5 minutes. At which point Barndoor went for his shower.

    Apparently, Sherwood had completely “lost the dressing room” so had to go.

    What a delightful club! What a total shambles. I don’t think we need concern ourselves too much in that regard.

  • Pete

    Heard another great story regarding Totnum’s pre-season tour to the Caribbean involving extensive wanton alcohol consumption, inappropriate behaviour with the local ladyfolk and other assorted misdemeanours. But had better not report any details as potentially libellious and wouldn’t want to provoke yet more cyber attacks on poor Tony…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting on a few levels Pete, will not even ask where you got that from but somehow, very believable!
    Ade…the source of trouble….who’d have believed it!

  • bjtgooner

    Has anyone calculated the compensation paid for loss of office (or breach of contract) for the 15 managers (and one dog) in the Houghton to Sherwood era?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Probably at least enough to buy a player they tried to stop us buying last summer bjt….and I done mean flam or Sanogo!
    Illustrates yet another benefit in having a stable long term manager!

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Tony:
    Fourth paragraph: You meant Wenger sacking the board, not the other way around. Wenger being sacked is an oxymoron, like military intelligence or AAA transfer acumen.

  • Elkieno

    @Ray – classic dude, great comment

  • gouresh

    As a gooner, i know its always fun to gloat at tiny totts, but the situation is quite worrying for their fans. Thank god for the stability at our club.

  • ARSENAL 13

    tynies….

    Have they signed him on a 5 year deal???….Well then the only winner is Poch.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    THE MORALITY OF DISHONESTY

    Robbers entered a bank in a small town.
    One of them shouted: “Don’t move! The money belongs to the bank. Your lives belong to you.”
    Immediately all the people in the bank laid on the floor quietly and without panic.
    (This is an example of how the correct wording of a sentence can make everyone change their view of the world.)
    One woman laid on the floor in a provocative manner. The robber approached her saying, ” Ma’am, this is a robbery not a rape. Please behave accordingly.”

    (This is an example of how to behave professionally, and focus on the goal.)

    While running from the bank, the youngest robber (who had a college degree) said to the oldest robber (who had barely finished elementary school), “Hey, maybe we should count how much we stole.”
    The older man replied: “Don’t be stupid. It’s a lot of money so let’s wait for the news on TV to find out how much money was taken from the bank.”

    (This is an example of how life experience is more important than a degree.)

    After the robbery, the manager of the bank said to his accountant, “Let’s call the cops and tell them how much has been stolen.” “Wait,”, said the accountant, “before we do that, let’s add the $800,000 we took for ourselves a few months ago and just say that it was stolen as part of today’s robbery.”
    (This is an example of taking advantage of an opportunity.)

    The following day, it was reported in the news that the bank was robbed of $3 million. The robbers then counted the money, but they found only $1 million so they started to grumble.
    “We risked our lives for $1 million, while the bank’s management robbed two million dollars without blinking? Maybe its better to learn how to work the system, instead of being a simple robber.”
    (This is an example of how knowledge can be more useful than power.)

    Moral: Give a person a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a person a bank, and he can rob everyone.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

  • Robl

    @ bjt, I think Rosie doesn’t qualify for compensation as a consultant, as the inland revenue found out.