When Mauricio Pochettino left Tottenham in November 2019, he did so as the most popular and respected Spurs manager of the modern era. So admired was the transformation he oversaw that their bitter rivals Arsenal – perhaps the biggest victims of his success – were credited with an interest in recruiting him; he also continues to be identified as a future manager of both Manchester United and Real Madrid.
A disciple of Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa, Pochettino attracted Spurs’ attention by so impressively nurturing so many promising young players at Southampton and creating a both consistent and exciting team. At Spurs he did the same with Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and more, inspiring them to not only convincingly challenge for the Premier League title, but to their first ever Champions League final. The decorated José Mourinho, his successor in north London and widely recognised as one of the greatest managers of all time, may never have had a tougher act to follow.