Tottenham are asking for trouble with new reported record deal, Salah signing proves that
COMMENT By Richard Parks
Tottenham are asking for trouble by giving too much power to Mauricio Pochettino.
The Telegraph claim the Argentine is close to signing an £8.5million-a-year contract that will make him the best-paid individual in the club’s history.
In addition to the mega deal, equivalent to £163,000-a-week, Pochettino is said to want to run the club’s recruitment as he is keen to “retain control over his signings”.
Many Spurs fans shrug, ‘far enough, he has earned it’ and will not quibble too much, given the smart judgement Pochettino has exercised in so many areas during his outstanding four-year reign.
But it should be a concern that Pochettino has vetoed the club’s search for a director of football.
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Handing too much power to one man, however brilliant and dedicated, can have negative repercussions, as Arsenal have found to their cost during the second second of Arsene Wenger’s reign.
The club changed their recruitment structure following the exit of former recruitment chief Paul Mitchell last year, with Steve Hitchen appointed the new chief scout.
He reports to the three-man football committee of Pochettino, chairman Daniel Levy and academy manager John McDermott.
“Recruitment is always important,” Pochettino said. “We have talked a lot about that with Daniel. We are in a position where it is difficult to compete with the big clubs that in the last five to ten years have invested a lot of money every season. That is why we need to be creative, smart and clever. Not too clever because when you try to be too clever it’s not good. But it’s important to be creative.”
Clearly, the Argentine doesn’t fancy having signings foisted upon him, however good the intentions.
But, Tottenham must tread carefully in handing Pochettino too much control.
Liverpool are a perfect case in point. Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he had to be persuaded by Liverpool’s recruitment team that signing-of-the-season Mohamed Salah was the right recruit last summer as he wasn’t initially convinced.
“The scouting department was really behind me, and wanted to do it even earlier so that nobody could jump in,” Klopp said last autumn, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “We were sure he can help us. Michael Edwards, Dave Fallows and Barry [Hunter], they were really in my ear and were on it: ‘Come on, come on, Mo Salah, he’s the solution.'”
The scouts and technical staff have valuable and vital input, and no manager should operate in a vacuum.
There is a balance between rewarding a key employee, as Pochettino obviously is, and handing him too much power.
In other Tottenham news, the club are working on a deal to sign a 29-year-old left footer who would be a sensational signing.