Pochettino: the secret weapon of a youthful England

The hope of the English football fan to rest on the shoulders of a new, young generation. Thanks to the perseverance of Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Kane is surrounded by his team mates in the English national team. © BELGAIMAGE

Eric Animal (24), Dele Alli (22) and Harry Kane (24) are three of the key players now and for the future in England. Not coincidentally plays the trio under Mauricio Pochettino, who by English coach Gareth Southgate is described as ‘the secret weapon’ of the English.

In a league in which there is almost no escape is short-termism, is the Argentine the pleasant exception. The manager of Tottenham does have plenty of attention for raising talent and become the leader of The Three Lions.

In October 2017, it is even so that after the debut of Harry Winks fifteen of the last thirty debutantes under Pochettino have worked. It draws the value that the South American has for English football, but the dependence on him underlined at the same time the major problem. How to get a talent of his own breeding is still the chance, as even the lesser Premier essentially a cove in a breedteaankoop of more than ten million euros to do?

As coach of the English U21 saw Southgate all one after the other talent a path to the top of the Premier League find. In that period, were Animal, Kane and Alli not at all the most promising players. Kane was often a reserve at the national youth squad, with Sporting Lisbon fledged Animal was only occasionally included in the selection and MK Dons trained Alli came even to two appearances for the U21, only after he by Tottenham for seven million euros, was purchased. They were only, however, opportunities in the Premier League and grab that with both hands, while other youth internationals left.

Pochettino blames the lack of development in many other clubs on the financial wealth. ‘In France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil survive clubs through the sales of seventeen-, eighteen – or nineteen-year-old’s talents after they have let you play. Here you have, as we, a little crazy, and to young players themselves to want to bring’, he noted during a press conference. Pochettino gets the Manchester United of Sir Alex Ferguson as his great example.


England is tactically more and more flexible and enable under Southgate seemingly effortlessly between systems. A 4-2-3-1-formation à la the Spurs of Pochettino is against the weaker countries, the most likely choice. It offers decisive players like Kane and Alli firmness and Raheem Sterling can be as to his favourite position of right-winger from the feet.


The English team is a mix of Man City and Spurs, with hints of Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea

Since the winning of the world cup ticket to play the English, however, invariably with three centrumverdedigers, with wingbacks on the flanks attacks. Such as the Chelsea of Antonio Conte. The influences of top managers are directly visible. So is loopwonder Kyle Walker is more versatile has become after a year under Pep Guardiola and there’s backwards talk power with John Stones, also one of the major installers in The Citizens. The English team is a mix of Man City and Spurs, with hints of Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Looking at the difference between the top teams in the Premier League and the national team is the big minus of The Three Lions, however, soon apparent. David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen, Mesut Özil and Messi Fàbregas are in the league the spelmakers that opening find that for others are invisible. Southgate does not have such a type, which is capable of against a withdrawn opponent is a teammate with a through ball for the keeper to convert.

Adam Lallana fits perhaps best with that profile. But the Liverpoolmiddenvelder has on a personal level, a failed season behind them by persistent injuries. In the absence of Lallana is the more defensive Jordan Henderson in the role of playmaker runners Alli and Sterling needs to operate.

Bas van den Hoven

‘New kids on the Block’

Read the full report about England in our +zone or Sport/Voetbalmagazine of Wednesday 13 June.

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