Mauricio Pochettino Teams Coached

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 5, 2017: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured prior to the friendly game between Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus Torino at Wembley Stadium. Copyright: Cosmin Iftode/Picstaff

Poch has had a rather interesting managerial career. Starting at Espanyol, his managerial stature has only kept rising ever since. He was always a likable character even as a player, but his tactical nous as a coach has seen him garner appraisal from the footballing community.

Currently managing Chelsea, who are a highly sensitive and volatile club right now, Pochettino is seen as someone who will steady their ship at the very least. He is a progressive coach who has always built a strong foundation at every club he has been to, and that is for everyone to see.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the managerial career of one of Argentina’s finest-ever coaches.

Espanyol (2009-2012) Start of a New Chapter

Matches – 161
PPM (Points Per Match) – 1.22

2008-09

Espanyol was the first club that Mauricio Pochettino ever managed, and it was rather fitting as he played for Espanyol for 10 years over two spells. The prodigal son had returned home, and it was a much-needed return. Espanyol were in dire straits in 2008-2009. Pochettino was their third coach of the season.

Espanyol was fighting relegation that season and Poch’s first game as a coach was against their arch-rivals Barcelona, if Barcelona’s name wasn’t enough, it was Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, one of the finest teams of this generation. Pochettino’s Espanyol held Barca to a 0-0 draw in their Copa del Rey tie. That was the first sign of his prowess.

In the same season, Espanyol managed to beat Barca 2-1 at the Camp Nou, their first win at Camp Nou in 27 years. Espanyol managed to avoid relegation and finished comfortably in midtable.

2009-10

Espanyol again finished the season comfortably midtable. This was the season where Pochettino shaped his squad with younger players and his 4-2-3-1 formation with high pressing was getting lauded by his peers.

Later Years

Pochettino kept Espanyol competitive in La Liga for three seasons before, eventually, he started facing hard times. With a modest budget, Poch kept Espanyol competitive and attractive to watch. But eventually, luck ran out for the Argentine.

In November 2012, Espanyol and Pochettino decided to end things mutually as his contract was terminated. Espanyol was languishing in the last place, but that was more due to the club’s inability to back the Argentine in the transfer market. Nonetheless, Pochettino left the club with a lot of credibility in his bank.

Southampton (2012-2014) A Promising Start

Matches – 60
PPM (Points Per Match) – 1.45

2012-13

Southampton is where Poch started building his legacy. Southampton were back in the Premier League after 8 years under Nigel Adkins. After Adkins was sacked midway through the season, Pochettino was hired as the new boss.

Pochettino made an immediate impact at Southampton, leading the Saints to Premier League safety in his very first season. The Saints finished 14th in the league with a 3-1 League win over reigning champions Manchester City, the highlight of Poch’s early tenure.

2013-14

Pochettino’s Southampton had well and truly arrived in the Premier League in his first full season in English Football. The Saints were at their dazzling best in the 2013-14 season under Mauricio. Southampton finished the season 8th in the Premier League—their highest finish ever since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

In the 2013-14 season, Southampton’s notable victories came against Liverpool in a 3-1 win and against Chelsea with a 2-1 win. Both victories were secured at St. Mary’s. Poch’s fine work at Southampton wasn’t going unnoticed.

Tottenham Hotspur (2014-2019) Hitting the Peak

Matches – 293
PPM (Points Per Match) – 1.83

2014-15

Before appointing Poch as their manager, Spurs was a revolving door for managers. Poch was their tenth manager in just 12 years. Spurs were looking for stability, as years of managerial changes and reckless spending had sent the London club into a downward spiral.

Gareth Bale’s money was mismanaged and squandered, leading to head’s chopping. Pochettino was hired to steady the ship, and what a job the Argentine did. The main reason Spurs are considered a top-6 club currently is all down to Poch’s hard work of 5 years in making Tottenham a regular Champions League club.

In his first season, Pochettino’s Spurs managed a 5th-place finish in the Premier League. They also reached the League Cup final in his very first season, but they eventually lost out to a strong Chelsea team, losing 2-0 at Wembley.

Pochettino’s first season is also remarkable because it began the careers of Harry Kane, Eric Dier, and Dele Alli. Harry Kane, who currently plays for Bayern Munich, is considered one of the greatest-ever strikers of the modern generation.

Pochettino built his squad around these young English starlets, and it was the beginning of Tottenham’s own golden period in the Premier League era.

2015-16

A season that promised so much but eventually produced nothing. Still, it was Spurs’ best league campaign since 1990 as Spurs finished the season in 3rd position and thus qualified for the Champions League.

With the usual giants of English Football asleep, Tottenham had the best chance in decades to secure their first Premier League Title. Spurs were on fire that season, they were solid at the back and exhilarating up front. They thrashed Manchester City and Manchester United at home in that season.

Harry Kane also found himself at the top of the scoring charts with 25 League goals that season. But unfortunately, Leicester City pipped them to the League title. Leicester themselves had a fairy tale season, one of the greatest underdog stories in football history. By the end of the season, Tottenham had run out of gas and luck. They were even pipped to the 2nd spot by their arch-rivals Arsenal in the final game week. One of the biggest “What if” seasons in Spurs and Pochettino’s history.

2016-17

Another season that promised so much but ultimately was fruitless. Chelsea proved to be their biggest obstruction that season in more than one competition. Spurs finished the Premier League season in 2nd place with 86 points, just 7 points behind Chelsea. Despite losing fewer matches than Chelsea, Spurs were undone with a spate of draws.

Pochettiono masterminded a marvelous run in the FA Cup as well, Spurs reached the semi-final of English Football’s oldest cup competition. But yet again Chelsea proved to be a deciding factor. Chelsea knocked Spurs out of the competition at Wembley.

Harry Kane again top-scored for Spurs with 35 goals in all competitions. Tottenham had a series of crazy results in the league that season, beating Manchester City and Manchester United at home with 2-0 and 2-1 scorelines respectively, while also thrashing Leicester City and Hull City 1-6 and 1-7 respectively.

Spurs’ season unraveled in October and November, where just 2 wins from 8 games ultimately proved fatal for their league aspirations. Nonetheless, Pochettino and Spurs had another great season to build on.

2017-18

Almost a replica of the previous season. Pochettino shored up the defense by bringing in Davinson Sanchez from Ajax. Spurs had now established themselves as a Champions League club and proved their credentials again by finishing 3rd that season. Unsurprisingly, Harry Kane yet again top-scored in the league with 30 goals.

Spurs proved their mettle as top dogs with a dominant 4-1 win over Liverpool at home, but that won’t be the end of these two sides stories. Poch and Spurs also had memorable wins over Arsenal and Chelsea, the latter away from home. They also thrashed Everton at home 4-0 and a 2-0 win against Manchester United.

Pochettino though, still struggled in the Champions League. He and Spurs had bounced out of the premier European competition in group stages last year. Still, at least they made some sort of progress this season as they made it out of the group stages but fell on the first knock-out hurdle as they went down against Juventus in the Round of 16.

Another nearly miss in the FA Cup left thousands of Spurs’ supporters heartbroken. Spurs again made it to the Semi-final of the FA Cup, this time against Manchester United. United beat Spurs 2-1 at Wembley to knock them out in the semis for 2nd year running. Poch and Spurs were becoming a nearly club and it all came to a head next season.

2018-19

Pochettino’s Coupe de Grace at Tottenham Hotspur. An incredible season, a season that defined the Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino, but as with the other seasons, it didn’t amount to any trophies. If you look back, this is probably the only season apart from the 2015-16 season where you could see Tottenham win at least one trophy. It all ended in tears.

Spurs were a hit-and-miss team in the Premier League season. Fortunately for them, they were more hit than a miss in the league as they drew only twice that season and lost 13 games but managed to win 23 games as well. Eventually, Spurs pipped their arch-nemesis and cross-town rivals Arsenal to the final Champions League spot. Kane top-scored for Spurs again with 17 goals that season.

Spurs also managed to finally get a good EFL Cup run under Pochettino where they reached the semi-final of a domestic cup again, but again they bowed out of the competition in the semis. Chelsea was yet again the thorn in their path as they eliminated Spurs in the two-legged semi-final. Spurs couldn’t replicate their FA Cup run from the previous two seasons, as Crystal Palace knocked them out in the fourth round.

Champions League, this is where the story of the season lies. An incredible, incredible run from Spurs. A campaign for ages. In a potential group of death with Barcelona and Inter Milan, Spurs finished second in the group behind Barca but tied on points with Internazionale. Both finished with 8 points, but Spurs’ better head-to-head result against Inter in the group stages meant they advanced to the knockout round.

In the first knockout round, Spurs thrashed Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on aggregate. Spurs won the first leg 3-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before a 1-0 away win at the Signal Iduna Park.

In the Quarterfinals, Spurs faced the mighty Manchester City. It was a classic tie according to the BBC, and it is there for all to see. The tie ebbed and flowed from the very first minute of the first leg. Aguero missed a crucial penalty for Manchester City in the first leg, and Spurs took full advantage of that by winning the first leg 1-0. The stage was set for the second leg, and it didn’t disappoint.

In the second leg, both teams traded blows. City took the lead through Raheem Sterling in the fourth minute, only for Heung-Min Son to equalize for Spurs and then score again to give Spurs the lead. Bernardo Silva equalized for City straight away and then Sterling scored to bring the tie level, Spurs were still leading on away goals.

In the second half, Aguero scored for City to give them the lead in the tie for the very first time. Llorente scored from the corner, but it was a controversial goal as the ball looked to have come off his hand. The goal stood and Spurs were level on aggregate but ahead on away goal rules. There was still time for one more controversy as Raheem Sterling scored in the added time for Manchester City, sparking wild celebrations at the Etihad, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside in the build-up to the goal. Spurs hung on for the rest of the game, then they with their fans had wild celebrations post-game. Pochettino had masterminded a tactical win against the best English side in that time.

In the Semifinals, Spurs played arguably the tie of the tournament against Ajax. If the City tie was incredible, then the Ajax tie was plain ridiculous. Ajax did a heist on Tottenham and won the first leg 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium. Van de Beek with the only goal of the game.

The second leg came around and Tottenham were without their talisman and most influential player Harry Kane, but Spurs and Pochettino were determined. Spurs were down and out by the 35th minute of the second leg. Ajax had taken a commanding 2-0 lead on the night through goals from De Ligt and Ziyech. Ajax were 3-0 up on aggregate. The game was done and dusted for everyone.

Enter Lucas Moura. Pochettino’s tactical tweak in the 2nd half gave us one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history. Lucas Moura struck twice in the second half. Ajax were on the brink and Spurs landed the knockout blow in the 6th minute of additional time. Lucas Moura completed his hat trick and Spurs completed an incredible comeback to win the tie on away goal rules yet again. They came back from the dead to claim a place in the final of the 2018-19 Champions League. This was as good as it got for Spurs that season.

In the final, Spurs faced the European Royalties from England – Liverpool. The stage was set for Tottenham Hotspur and Pochettino to go down in history as one of the best sides in Europe by beating the greatest English side in Europe. Spurs though, never got going in the final.

They conceded a penalty very early in the game when Sissoko was adjudged to have handled the ball in the Spurs box. Mohamed Salah converted the penalty to give Liverpool an early lead. Spurs huffed and puffed the whole game with Son looking the likeliest to make an inroad, but Divock Origi shut the door on Spurs when he scored a late goal to give Liverpool a 2-0 lead which Liverpool hung onto. Spurs and Poch were defeated.

2019-20

Tottenham’s chairman sacked Pochettino to bring an era to an end. Pochettino lasted 5 years at Spurs while giving many incredible memories to the Spurs faithful. He remains the greatest manager of the modern era.

Paris-Saint German (2020-2022) Ending the Trophy Drought

Matches – 84
PPM (Points Per Match) – 2.15
Honors – French Super Cup, Coupe de France, Ligue 1(2021-22)

2020-21

Mauricio Pochettino finally managed to end his trophy drought as a manager as he won the French Super Cup with PSG. They defeated their arch-rivals Marseille in the final 2-1. As Pochettino was appointed midway through the season, he was unable to win the League title, but was still able to guide the Paris side to a 2nd place finish and a semi-final in the Champions League.

PSG also won the Coupe de France in that season by defeating Monaco in the final. Poch’s second trophy.

2021-22

Mauricio Pochettino won the biggest trophy of his managerial career as he guided PSG to a league title in the 2021-22 season. PSG finished the season with 86 points, 15 points more than 2nd place Marseille.

Kylian Mbappe finished top of the charts in both scoring and assisting departments. Mbappe finished the season with 28 goals and 17 assists. Unfortunately for Pochettino, a mediocre showing in the Champions League meant he parted ways with PSG in the summer of 2022.

Chelsea (2023 -) A Chance to Prove

Mauricio Pochettino was appointed the manager of Chelsea football club on 29 May 2023. He is currently overseeing an extremely expensive yet fragile Chelsea side with a lot of upsides for the future.

It has not been the best of starts back in the Premier League, but Pochettino knows he will require time to get the balance of his side right. It is an expensively assembled side but a highly inexperienced one too. Time will tell if Pochettino can wrong the rights and finally deliver in English Football.