In another example of Britain's legislative superiority, Tottenham's Labour MP, David Lammy, revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson is a keen admirer of Mauricio Pochettino. In a recent Tottenham Hotspur podcast – The Spurs Show – Lammy made public some comments that Sir Alex Ferguson had to say about Poche.
"About six weeks ago, I sat next to Alex Ferguson at a dinner in support of grassroots football abroad," Lammy said.
"He said to me, 'I think you guys have got the best manager in the Premier League.'"
While this is ITK to the max, it is not unbelievable. Claudio Ranieri has led Leicester to a truly remarkable campaign and Slaven Bilic has the Hammers sitting in sixth, yet there is no doubt that Mauricio Pochettino has grabbed the most headlines from a managerial standpoint in the Premier League this season. For every Dele Alli, Eric Dier, or Harry Kane article, there is one profiling the wonders of Pochettino's press or his ability to turn starlets into stars. Lest we forget too, Ferguson is giving these comments not just as a spectator, but as a former competitor.
"Pochettino was just 12 days into his reign as Southampton manager when he took his new club to Old Trafford in January 2013. United won 2-1, however Ferguson was incredibly impressed by The Saints.
"In the second-half Southampton have been the best team to play here this season," a relieved Ferguson said. "They pushed right on top of us and didn't give us time to settle. We were fortunate to win."
The English media is borderline obsessed with linking Tottenham players to United and now it looks as if they will transition to incessant articles about Pochettino as the perfect successor to Sir Alex. While the Ferguson comments didn't come with a "Pochettino as next Manchester United" advertisement, surely there will be stories until their managerial situation is sorted. Yet while there is near non-existent worry that Pochettino will leave Spurs (he had unbending loyalty to Southhampton, no matter their status, until Cortese was dismissed), the two managers took over each club in a similar situation. If you look at United from 1976-1986 they finished 6th, 10th, 9th, 2nd, 8th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th. This is nothing to scoff at, but it is not the results of a Sir Alex led Manchester United side in the 1990's or 2000's. Spurs, for their part, finished 9th, 5th, 5th, 11th, 8th, 4th, 5th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 5th before Pochettino was hired. These two records aren't so dissimilar and neither is the status of the two clubs before each manager took over. United had a slightly greater prestige than Spurs before Sir Alex and United's ten year record was a bit better, but it certainly wasn't the giant that it is today.
If we remove the "Spursy" nonsense and the negativity associated with the club, Tottenham's ten year record looks like a team on the precipice. Pochettino's reign is early, but it could be long. What he values and the style of play that he exhibits is perfectly suited for Spurs. His system in general needs both time and infrastructure to succeed. In short, it doesn't make sense for Pochettino to migrate from club to club, nor does it make sense for him to manage a completely established club where developed, expensive, and often egotistical players rule the day. We are a long way off from the end of the season, let alone a twenty-year tenure, but the parallels of United before Sir Alex and Spurs before Poche aren't so disparate. In this context, we can all hope.