Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham In-Tray

Mauricio Pochettino is the 10th man to manage Tottenham this century and although Daniel Levy gifted him a five-year contract, that is the only leeway the Argentine should expect from his chairman.

Pochettino will be tasked with taking Tottenham back into the Champions League, competing more vigorously against the top four and adding some silverware to the White Hart Lane trophy cabinet.

If he is to succeed, he has a to-do list longer than a Leonard Cohen song...


Spurs brought seven players in last summer and only one - Christian Eriksen - excelled. √Čtienne Capoue has not featured since February, Erik Lamela has not been seen for so long he could be AWOL, Roberto Soldado is in danger of becoming the Spanish Postiga, Nacer Chadli struggled on the wing, Paulinho wilted and Vlad Chiriche»ô never received the guidance he desperately needed. Several players have returned from loan spells, Emmanuel Adebayor is unlikely to maintain his decent form and Aaron Lennon still finds the first man more often than the striker. There should be more out than in this summer.

Can Adebayor be trusted to perform under Pochettino, too?


Tottenham's main problem position over the last decade, Erik Edman, Lee Young-pyo, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Danny Rose have all stood out as the team's weak link. At times last season, Kyle Naughton, a liability in his favoured right-back role, even filled in. Pochettino must finally address the issue, and although the chances of Luke Shaw following him to the Lane are slim, Ashley Cole is a worthy, and cheap, alternative.


Tottenham's record signing played just 17 times last season and has not kicked a ball in competitive anger since 29 December. As damning a reflection as it is of Tim Sherwood's management, Lamela often resembled a man who just did not want to be at Tottenham last season. A player thrust upon André Villas-Boas by sporting director Franco Baldini, he often looked disinterested on the substitutes' bench and has come to symbolise Tottenham's forgettable campaign. Pochettino is, at least, a savvier coach than Sherwood and also Argentinian, which should aid Lamela, unless he is already in the departures' lounge.

Have you seen this man in the last five months?


Spurs thrived in André Villas-Boas' first season thanks to a settled side which consisted of two midfielders, one striker, Gareth Bale in an increasingly freer role and two wingers. The arrivals of Capoue and Paulinho last year broke up the imposing Sandro-Mousa Dembélé axis, as Spurs reverted to three in midfield and often isolated the striker.

Pochettino adopted a 4-3-3 at Southampton and they scored just one goal less than Spurs in 2013-14. He might have to switch to a more adventurous - and flexible - 4-2-3-1.


Vertonghen emerged badly from the infamous footage of Spurs players "waiting for a bus" in the Anfield tunnel before receiving a 4-0 spanking in March. He never played for Sherwood again.

Vertonghen said the previous month he was eager to play in the Champions League, and he is one of the few Tottenham players who could earn a move to one of the continent's elite. The Belgian is, however, Spurs' best defender and it is crucial they retain him if they are to break back into the Premier League's top four.