Nino Severino: Football has huge riches, but can be a cruel environment – as Pochettino has found
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In his latest column, NINO SEVERINO looks at the sacking of Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino
Yesterday we woke to the news that Mauricio Pochettino had been sacked, this confirms what I have always thought, there are incredible riches and experiences to be had in football, but it can also be the cruellest environment as well.
I'm sure with a reputed net worth of £9.3m there will be many that have no sympathy for him, but I can safely say, at low points such as these in a sporting professionals life such as Mauricio's, he will be bleeding from the heart and experience pain deep in his soul, and the millions that he may have in his bank account will mean absolutely nothing.
When the greats in the footballing industry talk about Pochettino, they will list him among the greats of the managerial world, joining names such as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, this is part of the reason why the hurt must be so deep, and so painful, Pochettino is a winner, he is someone who has tasted the glory days, the successes, the triumphs, today, it's very much the opposite, and a depressing realisation he cannot run away from.
During his time as a player he was runner-up in 2002-03 with PSG in the Coupe de France, and won the Copa Del Rey with Espanyol.
As a manager he has earned an incredible level of respect, by leading Tottenham Hotspur to a Football League Cup in 2014-15, but the achievement that really showcased his quality was the Champions League footballing stage of dreams, where he took Tottenham all the way to the final at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid, in front of 63,000 footballing fans.
It took one of the world's best footballing managers, Jurgen Klopp, and his great Liverpool team to end Pochettino's dream of raising one of the globes greatest footballing trophies.
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Through some of my professional roles in sport, I am finding myself close to some of the top professionals in the corporate world, individuals who are operating at the top of their game.
The reason I am finding myself part of the business world is simply because leaders are seeing the great similarity between the two worlds. Its news such as the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, which actually supports this parallel evaluation.
Lead a team well, make them all feel a commitment and devotion, guide the team to greatness and the spoils of whatever industry you find yourself in, and as a leader, you will survive and thrive, do it not, and the taste of bitterness will be a realisation that will quickly follow.
Regardless whether you are in business or sport, the bottom line focus is simply the business of winning, if this can not be achieved, the men in the suites that sit around the many large board room tables, in very plush office suites will have no hesitation and let the guillotine fall heavy and swiftly upon a once glittering career.
The corporate world is investing more and more through the younger ranks, investing through internal development of their younger workforce.
Studying Pochettino's strategy, this was an area he also believed in, very much promoting younger players and supporting their career pathways, as I stand back and look at this situation, I wonder whether the guillotine might have delivered its termination just a touch too early!
Businesses will often look at strategies with a long term view, this is backed with very strong evidence, Rome was not built in a day, and many businesses are built over many years, sometimes decades, unfortunately for Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur Board have not taken the same view, and after a five and a half year reign, the men with the power lost patience and faith in this great manager.
When you study their decision, it's the very uncomfortable Premier League position, seeing Tottenham huddled amongst the lower end of the league listings at number 14, which appears to be completely unacceptable to the board, and what has, in effect drove the decision. When you actually look at the statistics, Pochettino can hold his head very high I believe.
At the point of his arrival at Tottenham in 2014 they had only achieved top four end of season placings twice. Under the leadership of Mauricio, they have achieved this very impressive position four out of his five seasons in charge.
During his time at the helm he has managed to accumulate a very impressive number of 382 Premier League points, ranked only behind Manchester City with 446, Liverpool with 404 and Chelsea with 398.
In terms of his time in charge of Spurs, he is ranked as the fourth all time most successful manager, taking on the hot seat 293 times, only behind Bill Nicholson in charge with a banked tally of 832 games, Peter McWilliam 505, and Keith Burkinshaw at 431.
He has led Tottenham into more Premiership League matches than any other manager in their history, 202, at the end of last season he could boast the best points-per-game ratio in Tottenham history.
Based on the above information, I can safely say, today, all footballing managers will feel under extreme pressure, as it appears the footballing board rooms have very short memories, and base their decisions on current league positions.
I am sure that there are a number of managers today, looking up to see the board room guillotine hanging right above their heads, and if they find themselves at the wrong end of the Premier League for a touch too long, this guillotine will fall, and fall extremely swiftly!