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Brave New World: Inside Pochettino's Spurs Hardcover – 26 Oct 2017
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'Brave New World: Inside Pochettino's Spurs reads like it is the start of something, a self-aware manager exploring some bold ideas and exciting potential . . . Pochettino comes over, above all, as a man who puts enormous stock in working relationships, trust, and comfort in his environment . . . But mostly there are detailed insights into the impressive workings of a football manager' (Matt Dickinson The Times)
'Mauricio Pochettino may be the most interesting coach currently working in England, perhaps even Europe. The author is granted unprecedented access to see the inner workings of one of the success stories in the Premier League in recent years' (Joel Sked i news, The 10 Best Football Books of 2017)
'An essential piece of reading for anyone keen to understand how someone goes about transforming a football club' (FourFourTwo)
'An unparalleled insight into one of the most exciting managers working in football' (Independent)
The exclusive behind-the-scenes story of the Mauricio Pochettino revolution at SpursSee all Product description
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As a Tottenham fan and football fan, I was a little unsure what to expect. But this book from Guillem Balague on Mauricio Pochettino was just fantastic. A years diary into the life of a top coach.
I couldn’t put it down and read all over 5 days. Some fantastic stories, funny, tactical and heart felt moments, throughout his playing and managerial career was a joy to read.
I just hope he does another one.
It also goes back to Potch's humble beginnings in Argentina (my favourite country in the world) and the steely determination that got him to the pinnacle of his profession.
The book is also pleasant to look at and I give it a definite thumbs up.
Where the manager and club prefer to remain mostly silent around the incidents that occur at the club, this book actually provides some reality of what goes on and how things were handled, and what was said. This is especially where Kyle Walker is involved. The book should be enough to convert an anti-Levy into a more sympathetic fan, but that may be a little optimistic.
The main book itself reads like a diary, but it certainly strays away from the line of "well written" slightly. Whilst it doesn't bounce around chapters with vague, but important references, it doesn't always flow well or have relevance. It come across like a scrap book of diary cuttings that mostly have a chronological order, but often there are anecdotes that bound around the timeline quite confusingly. This settles later in the book though.
A good read, nonetheless
Interestingly enough this book is forwarded, not by a renowned player or mentor, but by his spouse, Karina Grippaldi. This alone tells you the closeness he has with his wife.
The book is intelligently written with great insights into Pochettino’s thinking and philosophy on life, coaching and Spurs. He talks about his relationship with Daniel Levy, after a hesitant start, which blossomed into a close working one.
Even though this book is about the clubs final season at WHL and insights into how he went about moulding a great young side, there are a lot of flashbacks to his earlier life, football in Spain, Southampton(why he came to England) job offers, etc.
I can understand why he has a close relationship with his chairman; as Levy stated, they can’t compete financially with the leading clubs of the world. Therefore, the club must rely on the youth coming through the ranks and bargain players. Pochettino prefers moulding youngsters into his way of thinking, which he wouldn’t be able to do with clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, United, Chelsea etc. Clubs like that want instant success and if not their manager’s time at the club will be short-lived.
Even though I highly recommend this book as a very good and intelligent read (unusual for a footballing book, as they are normally very shallow), this book did raise a few concerns for me, as a lifetime Spurs supporter and season ticket holder.
As Levy has stated, the clubs current financial situation can’t compete with top clubs, which leaves the only option - to win major honours - down to Pochettino’s weaving, clever buying and moulding of players/ team into something that can rise above the riches of other clubs’. As we have seen with Leicester City, and further back with Ipswich Town (under Alf Ramsey), Derby country (under Clough and later with Mackay), and Nottingham Forest (under Clough) the league title can be won from outside the elite few, but it is rare. If the players feel that they will just be the bridesmaid, never the bride they will quickly get disillusioned and walk towards greener pastures. Moreover, there will be plenty of clubs that will come knocking. Offering those players more money and the chance to win great honours. Yet, with the building of a new stadium and the rents that Spurs will take from property, that is owned from around the ground by the club, their finances will improve considerably; enough to compete with the best teams in the world. Granted, this will take time, as the club will have to deal with the debt accumulated from the building of the new stadium and surrounding area. Therefore, the question will become; will players and manager be prepared to wait for that eventuality? Another conundrum for Daniel Levy and the board; success, trophies and a top-four placing can only fill the 61,559 stadium (mediocrity and mid-table football does not fill large stadiums). To achieve fulfilment they must eventually compete with the richer clubs of the world. An Interesting challenge ahead for Daniel Levy and board.
Of course, this is my reading into this excellent book, but like all books, they can be interpreted in many ways.
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