A few months ago, Tottenham Hotspur caused ripples in the footballing fraternity when they produced several marvellous comebacks to book themselves a spot in the UEFA Champions League final.
Subsequently, several looked at that run, believing it to be the fulfilling of the enormous potential existing among the Lilywhites’ ranks. And, while the players deservedly got the majority of the credit, it was arguably Mauricio Pochettino’s vision that had made it possible.
In 2014, the Argentine arrived in North London as he hoped to catapult Tottenham Hotspur among the English elite. At that juncture, the Lilywhites represented a side capable of ruffling feathers once in a while but one also guilty of flattering to deceive.
Yet, Pochettino grabbed the bull by the horns and transformed the North London outfit into worthy Premier League title challengers, thereby highlighting the magnitude of the work he had put in.
However, the 2019-20 season has gone rather pear-shaped for the Argentine as Spurs have struggled in the league whereas they were acrimoniously thumped 7-2 by Bayern Munich at home in the Champions League and looking at the EPL schedule he might not have enough time to turn them around.
Inevitably, many have begun questioning whether Pochettino’s time at the capital was entering its twilight phase. Consequently, rumours of the Argentine joining another European footballing superpower have also been ripe.
Thus, through the course of this article, we would chalk out three destinations he can land up at if he indeed decides to part ways with Tottenham.
#3 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund have been in Bayern Munich’s shadow for the better part of this decade and apart from twin Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12, they’ve largely fed off scraps.
However, recently, the club seems to have a bit of financial wind in its sails, meaning that it has been able to rival the Bavarians for the cream of the talent in the Bundesliga; a fact emphasised by their capture of Julian Brandt, Nico Schulz and Thorgan Hazard in the 2019 off-season.
Yet, for all the attacking verve and talent they possess, they haven’t been able to stitch together an adequate end product. Moreover, they’ve shown signs of wilting under pressure with their capitulation last term acting as the perfect embodiment.
And, even though there haven’t been vociferous calls asking for the current manager’s head, one can sense the discontent growing, especially if they continue their poor start to the season.
Thus, a manager of the ilk of Pochettino could be the perfect fit, more so because of the Argentine’s propensity to play the ‘Dortmund way’; an approach where creativity is prioritised over calculation.
Additionally, the current Spurs manager’s tendency to set his teams up to press vigorously could appeal to the Dortmund faithful, in light of what they’ve become accustomed to.
And, more importantly, the Argentine would bring more steel to a side that has been criticised of falling off a cliff too easily.
Hence, if Pochettino does decide to abandon the Spurs ship, he might find solace on German shores.
#2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid are often in the market for a new manager, despite having an established manager at the helm. And, the current situation at the Santiago Bernabeu isn’t too dissimilar with the Los Blancos stuttering and stumbling in the La Liga and the UCL.
More worryingly though, Zinedine Zidane hasn’t been able to integrate his summer signings, as well as the club, would’ve liked, meaning that several question marks have cropped up regarding his ability to break Madrid’s rut.
Thus, at such a time, Florentino Perez could be tempted to dip into the managerial market and acquire Pochettino. And, on further introspection, the Argentine fits quite a few criteria the Madrid president looks for.
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Firstly, the former Southampton manager professes an effervescent and offensive brand of football, meaning that there won’t be too many dull games. Secondly, he is as good a man manager as any; a facet that could help him control the infamously large egos existing in the Madrid dressing room.
Most crucially though, Pochettino is perhaps one of the world’s premier managers at the moment. And, with the Los Blancos’ tendency to procure star names, the Argentine could represent the ideal ‘Galactico’ signing.
Thus, the prospect of Pochettino going to Madrid could come to fruition, if he leaves Spurs.
#1 Bayern Munich
A few days ago, Bayern Munich parted ways with Niko Kovac, thereby drawing the curtains on a rather tumultuous spell. Initially appointed last summer, the Croatian never really found his feet at the Bavarian club, meaning that murmurs of his departure were never too far away.
Currently, the club has appointed Hansi Flick ‘until further notice’, with the assistant coach set to take charge of Bayern’s games against Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.
However, a club like Bayern would refrain from too many temporary fixes and would rather want another long-term project in the pipeline. And, therein lies the opportunity for Pochettino to make to move to Bavaria.
The move to Bayern would certainly be an upgrade for the Argentine, considering the German club’s financial clout and rich history. Moreover, it would accord Pochettino the ideal platform to strengthen his case as the best manager on the planet.
In addition, his philosophy would be a great fit for the Bavarians, especially after the club had grown tired of Kovac’ circumspect and indecisive tactics.
Even though Bayern would probably have to wait until the end of the season to bring Pochettino on board, on current evidence, it seems that the wait could be worth it.
Yet, at this point, it is anybody’s guess if the Argentine actually bags the hot seat in Bavaria.