Tottenham legend Cliff Jones has become the latest figure associated with the club to compare manager Mauricio Pochettino to double-winner Bill Nicholson.
The Welshman played under Nicholson in Spurs' greatest ever season, as they lifted both the league and FA Cup in 1961. Jones told BBC Radio Wales that the commitment shown by the current crop of players is "the same as Bill Nicholson instilled at the club".
Playing for the fans
There seems to be no doubt that that commitment is coming from the top down, with Pochettino encouraging his players to play for the supporters. Nicholson, who led Spurs from 1958-1974 before quitting over concerns about hooliganism, always emphasised that the supporters must go home happy.
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The ovations Pochettino has received from the stands suggests a special relationship with the fans, something not every Tottenham manager has been lucky enough to experience. Nicholson is the benchmark of success at White Hart Lane, with his name emblazoned on the street which hosts the main entrance to the club.
A long way to go
By Nicholson's own high standards, Pochettino has a long way to go. "If you don't win anything, you've had a bad season", were the words of the Yorkshireman, and despite Spurs' enormous progress, Pochettino is yet to deliver silverware - though of course that may change with a Premier League or Europa League win in the coming months.
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There are certainly similarities between the two bosses. The current incumbent of the hot seat has developed not only the commitment, but a wider mentality of winning that was recognisable under Nicholson.
Pochettino has also adopted Nicholson’s famous push-and-run playing style. 1960s forward Terry Dyson, who scored the winning goal in the 1961 FA Cup final, has also compared the two coaches because of their free-scoring sides, particularly as Pochettino has allowed his players to try and score as many goals away from home as they would at White Hart Lane. Spurs currently have the best goal difference in the league.
Reaching the Capital One Cup final last March, which may have been a step too early for Tottenham’s young side, Tottenham need to land silverware if they are to be compared to their legendary 1960s predecessors.
They are widely tipped to win at least one competition this year, but if Pochettino is to prove himself in Nicholson’s league, he must build an empire in north London, and one that builds foundations for years to come.
Will Mauricio Pochettino be able to deliver a trophy this season? Leave your opinion in the comment box below!
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