'He picked up a pretty rancid bunch' – Gary Neville reveals how Poch transformed Tottenham
By Aramide Oladipo
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes that Mauricio Pochettino deserves a lot of credit for his transfer activity during his short time at Tottenham.
The 45-year-old manager has been in charge at White Hart Lane for three seasons and he’s secured a top-three league finish for the second successive campaign.
Pochettino arrived in the Premier League in January 2013 when he replaced Nigel Atkins at Southampton and he led the Saints to eighth in his first and only full season in charge.
Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast following Tottenham’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United, Gary Neville praised the way Pochettino cleared out the unwanted players at the club.
“I think ultimately, for not a lot of money compared to what some teams are spending, he’s (Pochettino) done a wonderful job,” he said.
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“He picked up a pretty rancid bunch. There were seven or eight characters in there that you wouldn’t want in any squad.
“He’s got rid of them, dumped them out of the club, been really efficient in doing that but replaced them with what I would call good people, good players who are the right type.”
Before Pochettino’s arrival, Tottenham were going through a difficult transition period as they had just missed out on a top four place during the 2012/13 season and they sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record fee.
The following season, Spurs finished in seventh place and chairman Daniel Levy decided to sack both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
During his first two years in charge, Pochettino allowed the likes of Heurelho Gomes, Michael Dawson, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Emmanuel Adebayor to leave the club.
The Spaniard brought in players such as Dele Alli, and Eric Dier, and saw Harry Kane emerge, and all these players have been essential to Tottenham’s title pushes in the last two seasons.
Neville also praised Tottenham’s style of football under the Spanish boss as he stated: “They strangle teams, the way they play. They push up the pitch better than any team in the league, they’re better defensively than most teams in the league and they really have a good balance.”
In other Tottenham news, Darren Anderton posted this message on Twitter.