It has now been 2 months since Mauricio Pochettino was let go as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, or in football terms, a very long time ago.
Since his departure, we’ve seen many big clubs find their new managers to propel them to the top, with the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Napoli all finding their hopeful savior for the remainder of this season and for many more to come.
With all this movement, plus the arrival of the January transfer window, one of football’s most in demand coaches seems to have been pushed into the shadows.
Pochettino has built his career on the ability to turn stumbling football teams into formidable presences in their respective leagues. When he took over Espanyol in late January 2009, the team was fighting to stay alive in La Liga but he managed to get the Catalan club to a comfortable mid-table position and a surprise 2-1 away win at fierce rivals Barcelona – Espanyol’s first league victory at the Camp Nou in 27 years.
This was all despite zero coaching experience, but his high-pressing, quick tempo style of football soon attracted the English game. He would join Southampton in January 2013 and immediately find success, beating reigning champions Manchester City 3-1 at home during the club’s first season back in the Premier League after a 7-year absence.
The next season, Southampton would finish 8th under the Argentine whilst also picking up their most points ever in a single Premier League season. Spurs came knocking that summer and Pochettino was officially unveiled by the London-club in May 2014 as he became the 10th manager of the club in a 12-year span.
A Champions League Final, the development of young players into superstars such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier, and the only Spurs manager to reach 100 Premier League victories came and went throughout Poch’s 5-year reign.
A team that was the laughing stock of the ‘big 6’ Premier League clubs was established as a powerhouse on both the national and international stage thanks to the Argentine, as Spurs never finished below 5th under his guidance.
As much as he built and changed his young Spurs team into one to fear, Pochettino left White Hart Lane/Wembley/The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (thank you Daniel Levy) without a single trophy but his stock is at an all time high.
Rumors of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Real Madrid have been hot since his departure however, there is no proof that Pochettino would do well in a club of that stature. He has never been at an established club, so why not go to a club that would match his ambition and his skills to a tee?
I’ve been struggling over whether I should write this article because I, like many, thought Pochettino had earned the right to coach one of the world’s best, however, one signing ensured that Pochettino should buy a one-way ticket to the Signal Iduna Park.
By bringing in Erling Håland for 45 million euros, Borussia Dortmund found a talent similar to that of Harry Kane when he began his career, a player who Pochettino placed his complete trust in at the age of 21.
This is not to say that Die Schwarzgelben took a huge gamble on an in-form 19-year-old, and are you really willing to let Lucien Favre develop one of the hottest prospects in a while or the man who is known for developing some of the world’s most elite players?
BVB already find themselves 7 points behind table-toppers RB Leipzig and face a tremendous uphill battle against PSG in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. The only way Favre keeps his job is through a surprising league title, and although Die Schwarzgelben has shown an improvement in form, winning their last 3 games on the bounce, the fact that they are probably going to miss out on another league title, especially one that Bayern isn’t even part of the race, and won’t challenge for the Champions League, Favre will probably be looking for a new job during the summer.
This brings in Pochettino to the equation. Can you imagine his high-pressing style coupled with Dortmund’s plethora of attacking talent? Marco Reus, Julian Brandt, the aforementioned Håland, and of course, Jaden Sancho.
Although his exit seems probable in summer, Pochettino has managed to convince the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen to stay at Spurs, so if anyone can convince the English prodigy to stay at the Westfalenstadion, it is Pochettino.
This isn’t even bringing in the stable midfield, which has a lot of parallels to the one Poch used during his tenure in London, into the formula or the attacking fullbacks that BVB has. This is a match made in heaven. Not only can Poch finally win a league title with this uber-talented team but BVB can finally regain their position at the summit of the Bundesliga, a position they haven’t had since the 2011-12 season.
The Yellow Wall has not been fortified since Jürgen Klopp left in 2015, and if any man can rebuild it, it is Mauricio Pochettino, the game’s best rebuilder.