Tottenham vs Ajax: Mauricio Pochettino preoccupied by one key question – will this ever happen again?

Will this ever happen again?
That was the question that Mauricio Pochettino raised at his press conference on Monday afternoon, ahead of the biggest match of his life.
And he did not just mean Tottenham reaching a semi-final of the Champions League, which he admitted “does not happen often”. The only other time Spurs were in the last four of the European Cup was in 1962, when they were eventually beaten by Eusebio’s Benfica.
But Pochettino had his eye on an even bigger picture than just these two games against Ajax. His sense of his own legacy extends beyond who win any tie or trophy. Because Pochettino feels that he and Daniel Levy are accomplishing something harder and more unlikely than that: rebuilding the club and winning on the pitch, improving and competing with clubs with far bigger budgets than them.
That is the unique achievement of the last five years at Tottenham.
And Pochettino does not believe that anyone will ever do it again. Not in the stratified world of modern football. By reaching the Champions League semis, to be played in their brand new 62,000 seater stadium, Spurs are living like a superclub. They even beat the quintessential modern superclub Manchester City in the quarter-finals to get here. No one would have expected that when Pochettino replaced Tim Sherwood in May 2014. Pochettino does not expect any other club to manage this again.
We have been able to develop two different things in football that no other club found it possible do,” marvelled Pochettino at his press conference . “To provide the club with the most unbelievable facilities, and to put the club on the sporting side in a very competitive place. Reduce the gap to top four. And every year to play in the Champions League.”
Tottenham vs Ajax: Mauricio Pochettino preoccupied by one key question – will this ever happen again?
Pochettino had his eye on an even bigger picture than just these two games against Ajax. His sense of his own legacy extends beyond who win any tie or trophy
That was the question that Mauricio Pochettino raised at his press conference on Monday afternoon, ahead of the biggest match of his life.
And he did not just mean Tottenham reaching a semi-final of the Champions League, which he admitted “does not happen often”. The only other time Spurs were in the last four of the European Cup was in 1962, when they were eventually beaten by Eusebio’s Benfica.
But Pochettino had his eye on an even bigger picture than just these two games against Ajax. His sense of his own legacy extends beyond who win any tie or trophy. Because Pochettino feels that he and Daniel Levy are accomplishing something harder and more unlikely than that: rebuilding the club and winning on the pitch, improving and competing with clubs with far bigger budgets than them.
That is the unique achievement of the last five years at Tottenham.
And Pochettino does not believe that anyone will ever do it again. Not in the stratified world of modern football. By reaching the Champions League semis,
Maybe Pochettino is right. There will not be many other examples of clubs who do what Spurs are doing, combining investment with on-pitch improvement at the same time. But right now no-one is thinking about the bigger picture. Just Tuesday night’s semi-final against Ajax. Win this tie and they will be in the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June, an almost unimaginable sentence six months ago in Eindhoven. Back when Spurs had one point from three group games and their campaign felt over already.
With no solid plan to go off, the only thing that Spurs can do is be brave. They have nothing to fall back on. Certainly not their recent performances, which have been poor for weeks. Spurs were dismal against West Ham on Saturday, losing 1-0 at home, and they will need to be miles better than that against Ajax. Their only good performance in recent months was their 1-0 win against Manchester City in the first leg of the quarter-final three weeks ago. And Spurs will need to play above themselves again tonight.Now they are in a stage that none of their players have any experience of at all. Pochettino likes to present himself as the experienced pair of hands manning the ship, giving the players the benefit of the extensive experience of his playing days. But even he admits that he is on unchartered waters now. “I want to discover the new emotion and new feelings,” he said. “Because I was never involved in the Champions League semi-final. I cannot pre-judge or I cannot think too much what is going to happen tomorrow. I am open to discover some new feelings.”
Download
Download

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*