Glaring CV deficiency that could cost Poch Real job
AFTER three-and-a-half years at the helm of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino has made quite a name for himself.
But there's one flaw in his CV which could cost him one of world football's most coveted jobs.
Pochettino boasts the best win percentage of any Spurs manager since 1899 (55.22%) but despite a celebrated brand of football which continues to breed results, he has never won a title in his managerial career.
The Argentine has quickly become one of the most sought after coaches in world football, and has recently been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, but this morning's FA Cup failure against Rochdale proved precisely why he's not ready to make the quantum leap to the Spanish capital.
All things considered, England's oldest cup competition shapes as Spurs' best hope for silverware this season - but apparently, in Pochettino's eyes, it's not important enough to play even a single member of his best XI.
The starting side fielded by the boss at Spotland Stadium didn't include a single player who lined up in the 2-2 Champions League away draw at Juventus just five days earlier.
And it proved costly for the Londoners, who now add another fixture to an already congested schedule which could cost them in their run home.
A late Rochdale equaliser forced a second consecutive replay leg for Spurs, as League One's bottom side exposed Pochettino's second stringers in a manner which looms large for the remainder of the campaign.
Heading into a crucial stage of the season, Spurs can't afford to drop points and an increasingly hectic schedule means that they'll have to rely on depth to compete.
The likes of Toby Alderweireld, Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Fernando Llorente, on paper more than serviceable back-ups to the first team, all had their chance to impress in the Rochdale clash. However, each rated a six or below in The Mirror's player ratings, in a suggestion that their ability to make an impact in the first team may be waning.
It's not necessarily a missed opportunity for Pochettino, considering his side will be odds on favourites to progress when the Dale come to Wembley, however it's a stark sign that the manager isn't taking his best chance for a trophy seriously.
Zinedine Zidane's struggles in Madrid this season have led to the Argentine's emergence a target for Los Blancos, however as the Frenchman's tenure has shown - life in Madrid is centred around winning trophies, and a failure to do so can earn a manager the sack very quickly.
"Because the game isn't just about finishing third, fourth or fifth and being a great team to watch - you have to be winning trophies," former England international Stan Collymore writes.
"If he were to move to Real today, the Madridistas wouldn't bother looking at his CV with Spurs, they'd just be saying, "We've got the guy from Espanyol"."
Collymore's piece makes a very simple point - that Pochettino isn't ready for Madrid, and its clearly backed up by his CV.
Zidane is coming off back to back Champions League titles, but a single season in fourth - a ladder position not unfamiliar to Spurs - is under immense pressure to keep his job. However, a third successive European success would no doubt save him from the axe.
An omen which Pochettino should take note of in his quest to become one of the world's best managers.
If he wants to be seriously considered for the position, the only way forward is to start winning trophies, and in the FA Cup this morning he clearly showed that's not his current priority.