Mauricio Pochettino: Frustration Setting In?

Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Mauricio Pochettino manager / head coach of Tottenham Hotspur during The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino has always toed the line when it comes to wage structure and the financial restraints that exist when being manager of Tottenham Hotspur. Whilst there can be little doubt that Spurs are pointing in the right direction, after the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United the first signs of discontent from the manager emerged and for Pochettino. Maybe we can see frustration setting in?

Is Frustration Setting in For Mauricio Pochettino?

Mauricio Pochettino seemingly played down the importance of winning the FA Cup in the week suggesting that winning it ”would not change lives for Spurs.” It has been suggested that this was a negative stance from the manager although he was keen to stress that the main aim has to be ”winning titles and Champions Leagues.” Rather than negativity, the manager was being bullish and saying that the ambition must be higher than the league cup and FA Cup.

Success Takes More Than a Few Years

From day one at Tottenham, the rhetoric from manager and chairman has been consistent; more consistent than the performances on the pitch had been for the previous 13 years of Daniel Levy being the master hirer with an itchy trigger finger.

“to create that [success] doesn’t take a few years, Tottenham needs more time – with me or another [manager].


Instantaneous success has been the watchword since the Premier League’s inception with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and United all throwing megabucks at players to ensure success. Daniel Levy has kept a tight rein on the finances at Spurs and created stability off the pitch as well as bringing to fruition an outstanding new stadium.

But yet again, Spurs are going to end a season with no silverware to show for their progression.

 How Long is ’A Few Years?’

Yesterday became the eighth semi-final defeat in succession. Only two have been under Pochettino but it is a grim record.

“To compete in this type of game, I think we are ready to compete – but to win is different. The most important [thing] is that we are in this process, that after four years we can compete and that is fantastic.”

Being ’ready to compete is well and good but how long can that be used to try and play down failures in cup semi-finals? Pochettino has Spurs being more competitive in his tenure and it is now consistent. Pochettino has been at pains to say that he wants Spurs to deserve to win trophies and not just buy that success. Some say this was a veiled reference to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. It wasn’t veiled at all. It was clear who he was talking about.

To win trophies, the mentality has to be right regardless of how much money has or hasn’t been spent and Spurs seem incapable of taking that next step, so is Pochettino now realising that the restrictions he has to work with are going to always hold him back?

The Impossible Dream

The fans are behind Pochettino mostly but there was a sense of ’here we go again’ after the defeat to United. And the manager came across as equally frustrated at the inability to become winners;

“But the disappointment and frustration is that we are close but we cannot reach.”

That last point about ’we cannot reach’ should be a cause for concern. Why can’t Spurs reach that next level?

After the game, Poch said it;

”will be fantastic one day for Tottenham to reach the same level as the clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City. But a long way to work to arrive at this next level.”

Five years, six years, seven years? How long does it need to be before Spurs start being a nearly club who never reach their undoubted potential?


It may only have been a comment with no subtext when Pochettino speaks of another manager but it was the first time that Pochettino came across as downbeat and frustrated with his lot. If anyone deserves success with Tottenham, it is Mauricio Pochettino. But at some point, Daniel Levy needs to back his manager with money and the extra resources to take the next step. Money won’t guarantee success but Spurs need to catch up to try and move on. The new stadium is on the horizon but that alone could become a millstone if Spurs do not become winners soon.

The long-term plan is admirable but now that plan needs to deliver success. And if it is going to take a few more years yet, Pochettino might not hang around to wait for it.

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