Mauricio Pochettino must have been grateful to Arsene Wenger last weekend.
If Wenger hadn’t been despatched by Arsenal (let’s not kid ourselves it was anything but an easing out of the door) attention in North London and beyond might have been fixed on Pochettino’s fourth successive season at Spurs without a trophy.
Pochettino missed his shot at the big prize when Leicester won the Premier League in 2015-16. He won’t be winning that any time soon with Liverpool and Manchester United again most likely to challenge champions Manchester City next season.
City were embarrassingly superior to Spurs in both Premier League meetings this season which suggests Pochettino is not as smart as his fans would like us to believe.
And with the Premier League out of his reach for the foreseeable future, why not target winning the FA Cup? Spurs won’t have a better chance than this season when potentially playing the semi-final and final at home, but again they choked, not helped by Pochettino fielding his reserve goalkeeper.
Spurs supporters won’t take being bridesmaids for ever as the demands of fans have become increasingly fickle.
Wenger has effectively been hounded out by his club’s fans for not winning anything worthwhile for a few seasons (although even they have won the FA Cup during Pochettino’s barren years) even though the manager stuck determinedly to his own passing football principles. Even when losing, Arsenal are pretty easy on the eye.
But up at Everton, there are many at Goodison Park who want Sam Allardyce out of their club even though he’s taken them well clear of relegation into eighth place since taking over from Ronald Koeman and David Unsworth.
It’s the style of football that’s the problem for Everton fans apparently. Yes, that’s right a fanbase that not so long ago saluted a midfield christened ‘the dogs of war’ and who lauded the functional, but hardly thrilling, teams of David Moyes now seem to expect Barcelona-style football.
These same fans turned on Roberto Martinez when he introduced a passing game to Everton fairly recently.
Football fans are turning into deluded snobs. It’s even happening at Posh where those opposed to the appointment of Steve Evans are leaping on every disappointing result as proof of his unsuitability to life at the ABAX.
Posh fans were spoilt by the football played by the ‘Holy Trinity’ under the class management of Darren Ferguson.
But they should remember the football played under Chris Turner, a manager so popular and so successful at Posh he had a statue erected at the ground.
Turner didn’t employ ball-playing centre-backs. The best skipper in the club’s history, Mick Halsall, wasn’t exactly Iniesta. The ball was hoofed into channels for Ken Charlery to chase. It worked and we loved them for it.