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3 early obstacles for Mauricio Pochettino to hurdle at Spurs

| 28.05.2014

The search for Tottenham’s ninth manager in the Daniel Levy era has ended with Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino being coaxed into a move from the south coast to north London.

“In Mauricio I believe we have a head c0ach who, with his high energy, attacking football, will embrace the style of play we associate with our club,” Levy cooed.

Ladbrokes have gone 11/4 that the Poch-philosophy results in a trophy in his first season. However, implementing the now famous style of play may be tougher than he thinks. Here’s three obstacles posing an immediate threat to it:

Getting Adebayor onside

Getting luxury players to convert into more hard-working souls has been a challenge for previous Spurs managers.

David Ginola lost his tussle with George Graham in a more well-known battle of wills, but Emmanuel Adebayor is arguably more irreplaceable than the much-loved French winger, considering Roberto Soldado’s struggles in his first Premier League season.

Pochettino’s game centres around a high-press, which makes the striker the heartbeat of the side out of possession.

If Adebayor, a traditionally languid Spurs striker, doesn’t fully endorse that role next season he could be divisive.

Recruit or promote?

At Southampton and Espanyol, Pochettino wouldn’t have been privy to the kind of transfer budgets Spurs can offer.

Working with such little capital allowed the Argentine to promote youth. However, Spurs demand a top-four spot on a yearly basis and are ruthless with managers who don’t deliver.

Pochettino must decide quickly whether the Tottenham youth can be trusted or if signings must be made.

Mould the squad

Pochettino’s Southampton took the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation 30 times in the Premier League last season, while Spurs’ bloated middle section saw them flick from the Argentine’s preferred set up to 4-4-2 regularly.

With so many central midfielders in the squad, and more returning from loans, Pochettino must establish his preferred XI to enable the consistency he enjoyed with the Saints to settle in.

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Author

Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.