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Mauricio Pochettino: ‘Spurs are ahead of schedule’

Tottenham Hotspur have received criticisms recently following their defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. The loss coincides with a three-game winless streak and has seen the gap between Spurs and 5th place Chelsea shrink to a meagre two points.

Spurs host Watford tonight at Wembley Stadium; Pochettino will be satisfied with nothing less than a win, with the aim to widen the berth between themselves and the Blues.

In an interview with the Hampstead and Highgate newspaper, Mauricio Pochettino has defended his successful campaign in the Premier League this year by simply claiming that Tottenham Hotspur are ‘ahead of schedule’. He reiterates that when he was first appointed as manager, Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis explained that his primary objective was to develop Spurs into a side that could compete for a top-four finish on an annual basis. Much to Pochettino’s credit, it can be easily confirmed that Spurs are a more successful team with him at the helm. Since his appointment in 2014, Spurs have finished 5th, 3rd, 2nd and – if other results went their way – could potentially finish 2nd this year.

Pochettino told the press that,

“We are victims of our own success because I think we are ahead in our project… the target was to arrive in the new stadium in four years and to create a team to have the possibility to fight for the top four, and in the second year to play in the Champions League”.

Mauricio Pochettino has a great point. The team has improved remarkably under his leadership, and have finished higher and higher in every season he has been at the club. Pochettino has firmly established Spurs as a top-four contender – and has done it without the lavish budgets that are at the disposal of his contenders.

A run in the Champions League is the focal objective for every chairman, manager, player, and fan in the modern age of football. For a chairman, the tournament brings in the highest revenue stream in terms of prize money and TV rights. For the manager, it adds prestige to the CV and can place one’s name amid the greats. Which serious players wouldn’t want to play on the biggest stage in club football? And to the fans, it gives ultimate bragging rights. On all levels, it binds the club together on a path towards success.

With this in mind, Spurs have had another successful campaign under Poch. They look set to qualify for the Champions League again next season. They topped their group as undefeated Champions this year – comfortably beating title holders Real Madrid in the process. Juventus knocked Spurs out with the full weight of 20+ years of experience behind them.

The trophy will come to Spurs with time

Poch is right, fans have accustomed themselves to Spurs victory under his management, and have backlashed since the last opportunity for silverware, the FA Cup, vanquished at the hands of Man Utd.

Spurs fans have gone 10 years without seeing their team lift a trophy. Spurs were a mid-table team for many years before the arrival of Pochettino, Levy or the new stadium. So now, under the apparent success of a manager who has proved himself for three years straight, under the watchful eye of the football community as their shiny new home is built, some have been disgruntled that they can see progress and success – just not with any tangible awards.

Pochettino’s team shouldn’t be the ‘victim’ of their own success, they shouldn’t be the victims of anything. His team have turned from boys to men in recent times: their success is now in their own hands. Raw squad talent + experience = champions. Spurs are on schedule. It’s only a matter of time.

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