Football Football
Horse Racing Horse Racing
Cricket Cricket
Basketball Basketball
Golf Golf

Ranking Mauricio Pochettino’s top 10 games as Tottenham boss

20 Nov | BY Guy Giles | MIN READ TIME |
Ranking Mauricio Pochettino’s top 10 games as Tottenham boss

The Argentine provided Spurs fans with many incredible moments during his five years in charge, but which were the best? We've ranked the top 10.

10. West Ham 0-1 Tottenham | 16 August 2014

A 93rd-minute winner from a summer signing on opening day is not a bad place to start for any new manager.

The fact that Eric Dier’s effort came at the home of a fierce London rival made this all the more perfect for Pochettino in his first competitive match in charge of Spurs.

It could have been a very different story, though.

West Ham were the better side for much of the game, while Mark Noble missed a first-half penalty for the Hammers, having converted all of his previous 10.

Instead, Spurs fans left the Boleyn Ground with a new hero in charge, and the future looking very bright indeed.

9. Tottenham 3-1 Nottingham Forest | 24 September 2014

Just over a month later, however, and that perfect start was a memory.

Spurs were winless in four matches, including a 1-0 loss at home to bottom-of-the-table West Brom, and found themselves behind against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup.

Turning to his bench, Pochettino would have seen Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela all ready to go. Instead, he turned to Ryan Mason.

The midfielder, who had endured a painful run of eight unsuccessful loan spells, became the unlikeliest of heroes with a stunning equaliser that sparked a 3-1 comeback win.

It may be a slight overstatement to say Pochettino was at risk of the sack if they lost this game, but he did later credit Mason for kickstarting the season and, more importantly, his Tottenham project.

8. Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham | 2 November 2014

Tim Sherwood may claim he was the brains behind the emergence of Harry Kane, but everyone knows it was Pochettino who turned him into a world-class striker.

It is also funny to think that of all the stunning goals he has scored for the club, it was a deflected free-kick which put Kane on the path to prolificacy.

Ten-man Villa, who had lost their last five, were ahead with just minutes to go before Nacer Chadli and substitute Kane struck to hand Pochettino and Spurs the win.

The three points were obviously important, but it was Kane’s contribution which made this one of Pochettino’s greatest games.

Kane started their next Premier League match and, 161 goals later, is a living legend. That is all thanks to Pochettino, not Sherwood, as much as he would have you believe otherwise.

7. Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea | 1 January 2015

It is beautifully ironic that Pochettino’s first real statement win as Tottenham boss came against the man who has now replaced him.

Jose Mourinho won the 2014/15 Premier League title with Chelsea, but Pochettino gave him a real scare by masterminding a thrilling victory that allowed Manchester City to briefly draw level at the top of the table.

This was not just another breakout win for Pochettino, but also for Harry Kane (who else?), as he scored twice and was involved in two other goals.

The Villa game kickstarted Kane’s career at the top level, but it was his terrorising of John Terry and co. that announced him on the big stage.

Shout out to Nacer Chadli, too, who put in his best performance for the club.

6. Manchester United 0-3 Tottenham | 27 August 2018

It is another poetic twist that, three years later, Pochettino triggered the beginning of the end for Mourinho at his next club, Manchester United.

Old Trafford had never been kind to the Argentine, with Spurs losing four on the bounce there without scoring a goal.

An electric second-half performance changed all that, however, with Harry Kane netting one and Lucas Moura adding a brilliant double.

This was Mourinho’s biggest home defeat to date, with the Portuguese descending into his ‘respect, respect, respect’ rant in the post-match press conference.

Mourinho was sacked a few months later, while Pochettino went on to guide Spurs to the Champions League final.

5. Chelsea 1-3 Tottenham | 1 April 2018

Their 5-3 win over Chelsea in 2015 was one of Pochettino’s most thrilling at Spurs, but this was one of the most historic.

Tottenham had not won at Stamford Bridge in the league for 28 years before Pochettino oversaw this victory, a run that encompassed 18 losses in 27 games.

Christian Eriksen unleashed a jaw-dropping dipper to bring Spurs level following Alvaro Morata’s opener, before Dele Alli’s second-half double secured the win.

Both goalscorers were among eight Spurs starters who were not even born the last time the club won at Chelsea in the league, a 2-1 win in February 1990.

Mourinho will hope to follow suit when he faces his former club at the Bridge on 22 February.

4. Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal | 7 February 2015

West Ham? Meh. Chelsea? Meh. It is wins against Arsenal that truly endear you to Tottenham fans.

Luckily for Pochettino he managed that at just his second attempt, following a previous 1-1 draw at the Emirates with a rousing come-from-behind win at the Lane.

Mesut Ozil’s opener after just 11 minutes threatened to continue Arsenal’s domination of the fixture, but a second-half double from Harry Kane sealed Pochettino’s first NLD win.

This victory was the start of an unprecedented run of success for Spurs against Arsenal, with the Argentine losing just three of his 13 matches against the Gunners.

There can be little doubt that, during Pochettino’s five years at the club, north London was, overwhelmingly, white.

3. Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham | 17 April 2019

It may seem strange to include a loss so high on this list, but this is a match which will go down as one of the most exciting in Champions League history.

Four goals within the first 11 minutes set the tone, before late drama involving VAR saw Spurs progress on away goals, reaching the semi-finals for the first time ever.

Fernando Llorente, one of Pochettino’s less successful signings, was the hero as he bundled home a crucial third on 73 minutes.

The image of Pochettino embracing assistants Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Toni Jimenez at the final whistle will be remembered forever by Tottenham fans.

Not only was this one of the greatest spectacles of his tenure, it also allowed us to witness a footballing miracle. More on that in a bit.

2. Tottenham 3-1 Real Madrid | 1 November 2017

Spurs were largely written off when drawn against defending champions Real Madrid and the dangerous Borussia Dortmund in the 2017/18 Champions League group stages.

It can, therefore, be ranked among Pochettino’s greatest successes that they went on to top the group with five wins and a draw.

The most famous of those victories came against Real at Wembley, which suddenly felt like home for Tottenham fans after a flawless display from Pochettino’s side.

Dele Alli stole the headlines with a double, but Pochettino’s tactical masterclass set the foundation for this win against one of the biggest clubs in the world.

After years competing against such teams, this was a win that finally made Spurs one of them.

1. Ajax 2-3 Tottenham | 8 May 2019

“History made in Amsterdam by Mauricio Pochettino and his players! It’s their greatest night in Europe for 35 years, since the days of Hoddle and Ardiles, and maybe their best of all time.”

Maybe? You must be joking.

This was, by far, the greatest European night in the club’s history, and among the greatest Champions League comebacks ever.

It is a shame that Pochettino and Spurs couldn’t follow it up in the final, but there is no doubt that overriding memories of his time at the club will be of that night in Amsterdam.

If Mourinho can engineer a moment that comes anywhere close, he will have been a success. Good luck, Jose.

Visit Betway’s football betting page.

Guy Giles

Guy Giles

Sports writer who produces regular football and cricket tips, while also covering a range of other sports.

Guy Giles

Guy Giles

Sports writer who produces regular football and cricket tips, while also covering a range of other sports.