Pochettino's the man to restore Spurs' glory
TOTTENHAM v LIVERPOOL
(Tomorrow, 8.30pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 102 & StarHub TV Ch 227)
Tottenham Hotspur have had eight managers in the last 10 years.
If White Hart Lane is to see any success in the coming years, the chopping and changing of managers have to stop.
Club chairman Daniel Levy has to start giving managers more time and more leeway to build a team.
With every managerial change, players come and go, and Tottenham have found it very hard to be consistent as a result.
But, in new manager Mauricio Pochettino, I think Spurs have finally found the right man to bring back the glory days to the London club.
Of course, many were singing the same tune when Andre Villas-Boas took over in 2012, but there's something special about Pochettino.
At Southampton, the Argentinian displayed an uncanny ability to get the best out of his players, some of whom are not really of the same quality as the Spurs players.
More importantly, Pochettino got the Saints to win matches with his attacking style of football.
Four wins in the first four matches this season - including two Europa League ties - indicate that Pochettino might have earned the Spurs players' trust and respect during his short time at the club.
It may still be early days, but I believe Tottenham will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
They failed to impress last season because many of their new signings - Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado - were new to the Premiership.
Now that they have adjusted to the pace of the Premiership, there's no reason for them to underachieve this term.
Spurs have a good goalkeeper in Hugo Lloris, a solid defence and loads of talent in attack.
If there are any question marks about them, it's whether striker Emmanuel Adebayor can perform throughout the season and if creative players such as Eriksen and Lamela can stay consistent.
But trust Pochettino to erase those question marks as the season goes on.
Looking forward to tomorrow's game, I see Spurs ending their recent poor run against Liverpool.
The Reds may have signed a host of new players but, as we saw in their 3-1 defeat by Manchester City on Monday, the same old cracks in defence - particularly at the fullback positions - still exist.
Brendan Rodgers may see Mario Balotelli as the answer to Luis Suarez, but I'm not a big fan of the Italian.
One of the reasons for that is his lack of versatility.
Rodgers will have to alter his attacking approach because Balotelli cannot roam the attacking third the way Suarez did.
The Italy international is very similar to Daniel Sturridge and I don't think Rodgers will field both of them at the same time too often.
The way I see it, he will rotate the two of them once the Champions League gets underway.
If I had to choose between one of them, Sturridge is my No. 9 to start with.
I would field the England striker next to Raheem Sterling in attack, with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana on the flanks.
Liverpool have problems at the moment, and this is a bad time to face a team who have won four on the trot.
Pochettino's winning start will continue - Spurs will beat Liverpool 3-1.
- Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City. He won the Bundesliga in 1994 and 1997, and the treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, besides the Champions League in 2005. The ex-German international is the author of The Didi Man: My Love Affair With Liverpool.
"It is not a difficult method. Our philosophy is play football along the grass, make good combinations and work hard."
- Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, on his approach
Pochettino stays grounded
Mauricio Pochettino is not getting carried away by his 100 per cent start to life as Tottenham manager.
Having impressed during 18 months at Southampton, the former Argentina international was given the reins at White Hart Lane in the summer.
So far, it looks to have been a shrewd appointment by Spurs, whom Pochettino led to a fourth successive win yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The north London side cruised to a 3-0 victory over AEL Limassol at White Hart Lane, securing a 5-1 aggregate triumph and their place in the Europa League group stage.
Pochettino was pleased by the manner of his side's win but is not getting caught up by the feel-good factor, well aware that tomorrow's EPL opponents Liverpool will prove tougher than anyone else they have faced.
"Every game is different," he said. "Now we need to stop and prepare for the game against Liverpool on Sunday.
"Liverpool are very different to Limassol and QPR."
Harry Kane recovered from an early penalty miss to open the scoring just before the break yesterday morning, before Paulinho and Andros Townsend rounded off the scoring.
Pochettino rejected suggestions that Townsend, who was called up by England earlier in the day despite being omitted from last Sunday's squad against QPR, would leave Spurs before Monday's transfer deadline.
But PA Sport understands that Spurs would be interested in bringing in Danny Welbeck on loan although talk of a move for Barcelona's Alex Song, formerly of Arsenal, is wide of the mark.
"We have a lot of players with unbelievable quality," Pochettino said.
"We need balance and it is possible we add some players, but not too much movement before the end of the transfer window." - PA Sport.
EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP-STAGE DRAW
Group A: Villarreal, Monchengladbach, FC Zurich, Apollon Limassol
Group B: FC Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Torino, Helsinki
Group C: Tottenham, Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade, Asteras Tripolis
Group D: Salzburg, Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, Astra Giorgiu
Group E: PSV Eindhoven, Panathinaikos, Estoril Praia, Dynamo Moscow
Group F: Inter Milan, Dnipropetrovsk, Saint-Etienne, Qarabag
Group G: Sevilla, Standard Liege, Feyenoord, Rijeka
Group H: Lille, Wolfsburg, Everton, Krasnodar
Group I: Napoli, Sparta Prague, Young Boys, Slovan Bratislava
Group J: Dynamo Kiev, Steaua Bucharest, Rio Ave, Aalborg
Group K: Fiorentina, PAOK Salonika, Guingamp, Dinamo Minsk
Group L: Metalist Kharkiv, Tranzonspor, Legia Warsaw, Lokeren