Danny Mills thinks Mauricio Pochettino is a better manager to play under than Arsène Wenger.
Ahead of the North London derby on Saturday, Mills was asked on Sky Sports which of the two managers he would rather play under. He responded: “It has to be Pochettino. The way he works with young players, its superb,” reports the Daily Star.
“Wenger came into English football and revolutionised the game, but I think maybe he’s just gone a bit stale, and Pochettino is the up and coming.”
Pundits give Pochettino a lot of credit for his work with young players, but from my point of view he’s mostly signed up players developed by other people.
Eric Dier was already established in the Sporting CP team when Tottenham signed him, Harry Kane had already made his breakthrough into the Spurs team when Pochettino arrived and Dele Alli was also already scoring double figures MK Dons before joining the Londoners.
It’s not the same as, for example, bringing through Hector Bellerín, Jack Wilshere or Alex Iwobi, who were in the Arsenal youth academy and brought into the senior game by Wenger himself.
Of course, it’s hard to deny that the Tottenham boss has done well with the players when they have broken through. He’s given them consistent games, and they’ve given him results.
Arsenal still give the most minutes to academy graduates, but right now it seems Spurs are getting more out of their young players.
However, I’d stop short of agreeing with Mills. When Pochettino develops a player like Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie – someone who performs on the highest stages for a decade or more – then maybe I’ll consider it.
Until then, it feels like people just think Mauricio is better at developing players because he’s had the most recent successes.