Why Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is the man in demand

Manchester United’s interest in Mauricio Pochettino adds an extra layer of intrigue to their meeting with Tottenham on Super Sunday.

United go into the game hoping to continue their recent resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but much of the focus will fall on the man in the other dugout at Wembley.

From his track record for exceeding expectations to the style in which his sides play, we examine the reasons why Pochettino is the man in demand.

Pochettino’s Tottenham tenure has been a story of near-constant improvement. Since a fifth-placed finish in his maiden campaign, the Argentine has guided Spurs to three consecutive Champions League finishes and he is on course to make it four.

There was a second-placed finish in 2016/17, their final season at White Hart Lane, when they went unbeaten at home in the league for the first time since the 1964/65 season and recorded their highest points total in the Premier League era. They also scored more goals than in any season since the 1960s and conceded their fewest in over a century.

It was achieved on a budget far smaller than those of their top-four rivals, but this season has arguably been even more impressive. Spurs did not sign a single player in the summer. They have found themselves stuck in Wembley limbo amid delays over their new stadium. Yet Pochettino’s side are within touching distance of the Premier League summit.

If they continue to accrue points at the same rate, they could even eclipse the club-record points haul they achieved two years ago.

Pochettino has had a transformative impact at Tottenham but his track record for outperforming expectations did not begin in north London. In his only full season in charge of Southampton, he achieved the club’s highest finish in over a decade, laying the foundations for the period of sustained success that followed.

Pochettino earned his move to Southampton on the back of an impressive start to his managerial career at Espanyol. During a period in which the Spanish club were forced to sell off their best players, he pulled off one of the most memorable relegation escapes in La Liga history – even overseeing a famous win over Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

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