Poch In Demand, ITK and In the Bin.
Poch In Demand, ITK and In the Bin.
Firstly, apologies in advance for having to spend so many words talking about Manchester United, but it`s necessary.
Unfortunately for me I was going to announce this morning that a couple of Tottenham and Manchester United legends who I had the pleasure of their company after the England game, gave me a heads up on why they believe Tottenham have genuine grounds for concern.
A concern which certainly one believes is causing the club to also feeling twitchy and increasingly nervous, and could be a clear and present danger to our continued progress; as it was The Express beat me to it by announcing on Sunday that they believe that Poch is on Manchester United`s very short list as a replacement for the sulking 'Special one`.
That is if he throws all his medals from his display box and sulks over not getting the players that he wants and decides that it is time to go and polish up on his French and jump on a very rich bandwagon at the end of the season (never let it me said that he doesn`t always make sure he has an option and if ever there was a manager who knows how to apply pressure on a board to get what he wants, then it is him).
For what its worth, one of them was also adamant that we won`t be holding onto Rose, so it could we be that they`re reunited in the not too distant future (if they are right of course).
The tide is has changed, mere billionaires can`t easily complete with Oil Rich Country owned clubs, especially when it looks like the architects and governance of Financial Fair Play swim like sharks, look like Sharks but have all the bite of Gummy bears.
It would appear the logic behind Man United preparing the ground and building on what is said to be a relationship built on mutual respect between Fergie and Poch is sound; if Manchester City win the premier League and leave the 'quieter neighbors` trailing in their wake, (and at this point in the season it looks odds-on) the strategic dynamic in the heart of Manchester may well be changed forever - and that`s the fear driving ManU to consider how they too adapt and compete. Their shareholders will be impatient for progress and an end to the last few years vast spending, and perhaps more so - an end to demands for even more.
No small part of that conundrum is the acceptance that a different tactical approach to winning games has taken the ascendency. Man United were known under Fergie for it`s high tempo exciting passing game that often kept games free flowing and pulsating to watch, that`s not to say that they didn`t have their fair share of grinding out results either.
There are many ways to win football games but the pressing/counter pressing high line possession game with a high degree of technical ability, core skills and high tempo movement is in the ascendency; call it what you will, but the style of play as epitomized by Man City and developed by Poch at Spurs have the same basic roots. So, the fear said to now be grabbing the Manchester red side, is that they may well find that just as they have a rump of players left over from Moyes/Vann Gaal`s days that are viewed as being just not good enough, is that should they lose the Special one, the may well be in the same position again or even worse. Of course, this style of play doesn`t always pay off, as Liverpool can attest to.
Building a style of play from the ground up, through every stage in a young players development could mean a root and branch reform of a club, it could also mean a complete change of management culture, both on the business side and on the playing staff. Most of all, for a club used to buying instant success, rebuilding for another 4-5 years isn`t a palatable prospect.
And that`s why Poch is apparently so high up their list. In fact, both old firends believes he is at the top of it. His stock continues to rise. The obvious weakness is his lack of silverware, but both drinking partners believed that will play absolutely any part of their thinking. Winning things in the Premier league or Europe has in their view always been about how much you have to spend and the depth and quality of your squad, and in their view that`s where we are at our weakest.
Would Poch allow himself to be diverted from a project he is so clearly relishing?
Anyone that immediately says 'never`, shouldn`t. Turning down Manchester United would take enormous purpose of mind and an iron will, and I wonder if a manager hungry for success with the prospect of a huge budget, easier recruitment and the ability to pay vast salaries could turn it down and remain at a club that might be a restricted budget confines for a good few years to come.
Like most ITK insights and leaks, you should take it with a pinch of salt and almost certainly bin it, except sometimes they are just spot on.
Trouble is, I`ve got enormous respect for the pair that I was with and neither are prone (I hope) to idle nonsense., they seemed confident that they weren`t talking through the drink.
As of now, and after the fog of a pleasant evening with a good few glasses of everything, I`m going to put all this in the improbable bin - but would also not be surprised if or when the 'special one` moves on that we will have a real fight on our hands to keep Poch.