Monday 19 February 2018

Spurs stars braced for Pochettino boot-camp

Tottenham have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach on a five-year contract, the club have announced
Tottenham have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach on a five-year contract, the club have announced

Matt Law

Tottenham's players are in for a shock under the boot-camp regime of new head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Chairman Daniel Levy has confirmed the appointment of Pochettino on a five-year contract as the successor to Tim Sherwood, and the Argentinian will work his new Spurs squad into the ground.

Tottenham are willing to spend around £50m this summer to help Pochettino try to lift the club into the Champions League, but the 42-year-old will lean heavily on his military-style preparation.

"In Mauricio, I believe we have a head coach who, with his high energy, attacking football, will embrace the style of play we associate with our club," Levy said. "He has a proven ability to develop each player as an individual, whilst building great team spirit and a winning mentality."

Pochettino is a famously hard taskmaster and insists that his players undertake double training sessions every day. His impressive work at Southampton was built on making the team into one of the fittest in the Premier League and introducing a high-intensity pressing game.

Southampton players joked of needing three lungs to work for him and claimed to be left so tired after training that they spent the rest of their days sleeping. Pochettino has taken his backroom staff of assistant Jesus Perez, first-team coach Miguel D'Agostino and goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez with him to Tottenham.

"I am honoured to have been given this opportunity," said Pochettino, who will be expected to speak English in public at Spurs.

"There is an abundance of top-class talent at the club. We are determined to give the supporters the kind of attacking football and success we are all looking to achieve."

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor fell out with Andre Villas-Boas over the fact the Portuguese did not want him to wear a baseball cap at club events and it remains to be seen how he reacts to Pochettino's tough methods.

Adebayor wants to stay at White Hart Lane and Tottenham hope Pochettino can have a galvanising effect on record signing Erik Lamela.

Tottenham are willing to cash in on Roberto Soldado, who has struggled to reproduce his best form at White Hart Lane. Although the full potential cost of the deal to sign the Spaniard from Valencia was set at £26m, Spurs paid around only half of that figure up front and would need to recoup only £13m to avoid making a loss.

PRIORITY

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku was recommended as a priority signing by Sherwood, but a deal for Jay Rodriguez to follow Pochettino from Southampton has been discussed and Spurs have made an inquiry over Loic Remy, who is available for £8m, but has set his heart on joining Arsenal.

Other than refreshing the club's forward line, Tottenham want to sign a midfielder and a defender. Michael Dawson is likely to be allowed to leave.

Having accepted Pochettino's resignation, Southampton have already started their search for a new manager, with Murat Yakin emerging as a dark horse.

Yakin (39) left his hometown club FC Basel at the end of the season after winning two successive league titles in Switzerland.

Southampton's Swiss owners are aware of Yakin's availability and his lack of English would not be seen as a major factor, given the fact Pochettino was allowed to speak publicly through an interpreter.

Derby County manager Steve McClaren and Sunderland's Gus Poyet are also among the candidates. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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