Mauricio Pochettino celebrates his 45th birthday today as we take a look back at his career and management style to date.
Mauricio was born in Murphy, in the Santa Fe Province of north-east Argentina, in March 1972.
He joins the local side; Newell’s Old Boys, aged eight. His first team debut arrived as a 16 year central defender.
Three years later Newell win the Argentine Primera Division title and the same year he wins the first of three under 20 caps for his country. He would later play for the under 23’s in a pre-Olympic tournament.Aged twenty two he moves to Espanyol in Barcelona and in 1999 he makes his full international debut V Holland in a friendly tie. Later that year he gets his first international goal again in a friendly V Spain and he represents his country in the 1999 Copa - America competition.
The year 2000 sees him move to Paris Saint-Germain and he also plays against England in a 0-0 draw at Wembley. Later in 2002 he goes to the World Cup in South Korea and Japan and is in the side that goes through their group stage and then meets England in the Second round. It’s his tackle on Michael Owen that wins the penalty that lead to the game’s only goal. He won twenty international caps with two goals.
The following year he transfers to Bordeaux but quickly leaves, first on loan, returning to Espanyol. The side again wins the copa del Rey and he is a substitute. Then aged 34 he hangs up his boots and moves into coaching having played a career total of 26 goals in 509 games.
Left - 1992.
At Espanyol whilst studying his management qualifications part of his time is as assistant to their ladies team. He becomes the Espanyol head coach in January 2009 with the club near the bottom of the table but he moves them to mid table.
His first game in charge could not have been harder it was against local rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Cup. And it ends 0-0.
He would beat them later that season in the league. Mauricio only had two training sessions before that first game.
Left - On international duty.
In an interview with the Guardian he outlined his management style before that game ‘I said to the players that we needed to play with high pressing and one on one at the back.’ The players were not sure but it worked and that helped the clubs confidence as they climber to safety.
He has been quoted as saying ‘It’s about your personality, who you are, you show on the pitch who you are, if you are brave in life you cannot behave differently way on the pitch. I don’t understand how to play a different way, always be brave I like to be brave.’
He built a reputation as a young coach and in January 2013 he becomes the second Argentinean manager to work in England (after Ossie Ardiles) when he takes over at Southampton.
At Southampton he guided the club to their highest ever finish and in October 2013 he won the manager of the month award. He has won it twice more since joining Spurs (Sept 15 & Feb 16).
Left - 1997/98
He moved to Tottenham in May 2104 as head coach.
His first game is a 3-3 draw in Seattle.
The first competitive game is a 1-0 win at West Ham.
That first season sees a 5th place finish and an appearance in the League Cup final. This was followed by a third place finish last season. In May 2016 his new contract saw him change job titles from head coach to manager. He is married with two children, his son Maurizio is with the clubs academy.
Mauricio has won many admirers at Spurs with his style of play which has brought results and his willingness to bring young players through the ranks. It is evident that he is respected by the players and throughout the game. He has created a strong bond and comradely within our club, as long as you understand his principles, he doesn’t stand any nonsense. Although a number of observers have noticed similarities to Bill Nicholson’s manner of working Mauricio is very much his own man. Despite newspaper speculation he has indicated he wishes to stay at Tottenham for a long period and build a legacy. Something to cheer every Spurs fans heart.
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Connection - Argentina
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Flying Down To Rio