The cyclist who turns pain into triumph

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    When Mauricio Pochettino took over as Tottenham manager in 2014, the club had managed only two top-four finishes in 22 Premier League seasons.

    Under the Argentine they achieved that feat in four of his five seasons in charge and reached a Champions League final, the first in the club’s history.

    Yet for all his success in that time – his tally of 382 Premier League points ranks behind only Manchester City (446), Liverpool (404) and Chelsea (398) – he has paid the price for a poor start to this season and been sacked with Spurs 14th in the Premier League.

    He will go down as one of the great Tottenham managers, but have his recent struggles tarnished his legacy? We take a look at the numbers behind his five-year reign.

    A Tottenham great

    Guiding Tottenham to June’s Champions League final assured the Argentine of his place in Tottenham history, becoming only the third man to lead the club out in any major European final.

    But it is his consistent record over the course of his five years in charge which means he bears comparison with their finest managers.

    He has taken charge of 293 games in all competitions, making him fourth in the club’s all-time list. Only Bill Nicholson (832), Peter McWilliam (505), and Keith Burkinshaw (431) have been in charge for longer. And only the legendary Nicholson (55) has led them in more European games than Pochettino (53).

    Manager Games Wins Losses Win percentage
    Tim Sherwood2213659.1%
    Mauricio Pochettino2021134655.9%
    Andre Villas-Boas54291353.7%
    Harry Redknapp144713649.3%
    Martin Jol113473641.6%

    Struggles against the other big clubs

    While his status as a Tottenham great is assured, his rank among Premier League managers is more debatable.

    For all the improvements he has overseen at Tottenham, including the development of young players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, there is no escaping the fact he failed to win a trophy during his time at the club.

    In fact, he is yet to win any trophy as a manager.

    And yet the statistics show that Pochettino reached 100 Premier League wins as Spurs manager in just 169 games – only Jose Mourinho with Chelsea (142) and Sir Alex Ferguson with Manchester United (162) got to that landmark for a single team in fewer games.

    In all competitions, he has won four of 13 matches against the Gunners (won four, drew six, lost three), with only one of those victories coming away from home – a 2-0 win in the League Cup quarter-final last season.

    How it all unravelled

    When Pochettino suggested before the Champions League final that winning that trophy might prompt him to leave the club, it caused some consternation.

    And yet he might wish he had left whatever the result of that match, given how this season has unfolded.

    It is not much of a stretch to suggest that their form during this calendar year has been that of relegation battlers. In fact, no Premier League side has lost more matches in all competitions than Pochettino’s side (18).

    Spurs last lost more games in a calendar year in 2008, when they suffered 19 defeats during spells under Juande Ramos and Harry Redknapp.

    Chairman Daniel Levy said results had been “extremely disappointing”. The manager paid the price.

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