Tottenham: Pochettino’s new deal a significant moment for the future

The Argentine manager put pen to paper a new five-year contract signifying that his ambition might finally be met.


REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Will he, won’t he?

That was the speculation running rife in the media given Mauricio Pochettino’s somewhat pointed statement in his post-match press conference following Tottenham’s final day victory over Leicester.

You need to be brave… and take risks. I have a very clear idea of what we need to do. I don’t know if the club will agree with me or not but we are going to talk to create the new project. – Pochettino speaking after Tottenham’s 5-4 win against Leicester.

If ever a manager earned a right to call out his chairman over a lack of ambition, it’s Pochettino. Such a statement, though, cast serious doubt over his longevity at Spurs for the first time since he moved from Southampton.

However, the Argentine today signed a new five-year contract, ending speculation that he might be set for a move away in the summer.

The make-or-break summer

This summer has a very ‘make-or-break’ feel to it for Tottenham. So often in recent years they’ve been on the cusp of major honours, but have not quite achieved what they’re more than capable of. 

Simply put, there have been far too many instances of chairman Daniel Levy shirking away from bravery, opting for safety over risk. Signing players like Moussa Sissoko, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Fernando Llorente, to name but a few.

It’s a case of missed opportunities for Spurs, coming so close to winning the Premier League crown in both 2015/16 and 2016/17. If they had invested more money and signed the right players, then perhaps they would be back-to-back title winners.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Pochettino’s statement at the end of the season was essentially a demand: ‘Put your money where your mouth is Levy, or I’m off.’

They’re one step away from achieving this ambition, hence the perception of this summer as the ‘defining moment.’ Pochettino was telling the club to take the next step or risk stagnation after he leaves.

Pochettino is reportedly earning £8.5 million per year, only less than Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, a symbol of how heavily Levy and the board are backing their manager and how much faith they place in him to lead the club forward.

The fact the Argentine signed this new contract is, therefore, indicative of a summer of heavy spending from Levy and the club. Pochettino’s ambition is finally going to be met.

The new project

Pochettino has had multiple talks with Levy since the end of the season, in which he’s called on the chairman to release significant funds to compensate for the potential losses of Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Danny Rose and aid in the creation of “the new project.”

And thus the new project has begun.

I am honoured to have signed a new long-term contract as we approach one of the most significant periods in the Club’s history – Pochettino speaking on his new contract.

Alongside the new deal, the Evening Standard also reported that there will be funds to spend this summer to take the club to the next level.

Daniel and I have spoken at length about our aspirations for this football club. We both share the same philosophies to achieve long-term, sustainable success – Pochettino on Tottenham’s ambition.

Without such assurances and guarantees from Levy in terms of spending, there’s little chance Pochettino was signing a new contract, especially if he felt the club weren’t prepared to match his own ambition.

It seems as though they, in fact, have.

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Oli Stein

Oli graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in History and has worked with RealSport since September 2016.

Currently assistant football editor and Tottenham correspondent.

Follow him on Twitter: @steinoliver_

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