Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham) vs Diego Simeone (A.Madrid) – A Comparison
Two Argentines in two different leagues but one seems to be having a bit of a better time of it than the other. Diego Simeone might have done the unbelievable by winning La Liga with a gritty and gutsy Atletico Madrid side a few years ago and even took them to two Champions League finals but it seems that Mauricio Pochettino is hot on his heels and wants to do a similar job at Tottenham.
The Spurs manager was extremely pleased to be compared to Simeone and even said the Atletico Madrid manager was one of the best in the world.
While we may not argue, Pochettino seems to be close to becoming one of the best in the Premier League and he does have a few similarities with the manager based in Spain. With Pochettino hoping for a title-winning season with Spurs, let us look at what are the similarities and differences between the two Argentines.
The both favour high pressing teams
One thing which is a major similarity between both the sides is the way they press the opposition. Pochettino and Simeone expect their teams to press high up the field and even the forwards are entrusted with working extremely hard for the team.
The defence actually starts from the attack and that is how both Atletico and Tottenham ensured they have decent seasons last time around and that is exactly how both managers set up their side.
A strong and tight defence
We saw a real Tottenham team this season as they were one of the best defences in the Premier League and well Atletico Madrid have always had an extremely great defence under Simeone.
The surprising thing is that both teams feature players in central defence who you would not say are the greatest in the world but the managers have worked extremely hard with the players and now the likes of Diego Godin, Jan Vertonghen and even Toby Alderweireld are seen as world beaters and some of the best in their respective leagues.
They both are extremely good with young players
While Tottenham has seen the likes of Dele Alli, Kevin Wimmer and even Harry Kane grow into the side, they have a great youth system and more players such as Alex Pritchard and even Nabil Bentaleb are there or there about to crack into the first team.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, have seen the likes of Saul Niguez and Jan Oblak come out leaps and bounds over the years and it seems this belief to churn out brilliant players from the youth system has stuck with both managers and this could be a similar thing for this season as well.
Simeone has taken an easier route
Well not in the sense of managing the teams, after all both sides have taken up jobs that most people would avoid and have been successful, what we mean is that Simeone has more or less stuck to sides which do not need to have the expertise of another language or another league.
Pochettino took a massive risk by coming to England and not one expected him to be a success at Southampton, let alone Tottenham while Simeone has stuck to Argentine and Spanish clubs, plus he does have experience of playing in both leagues.
Pochettino sticks to his plans
Mauricio Pochettino plays with a fixed system of a 4-2-3-1 while Diego Simeone often tries to negate the opposition and ensure that his side does not lose a game. The Tottenham manager might be easy to pick since he would be coming up with the same formation time and again.
While this does show that the Premier League manager is confident of his side doing well but sometimes he should take a leaf out of Simeone’s book and maybe this is just how he can get better and move up a notch in the best manager’s list.
Simeone and Pochettino are at opposite ends of a thermometer
We have seen Simeone go bonkers on the touchline, especially when things are not going right for his side while Pochettino is cool as ice and rarely reacts to anything on the pitch. Both managers have different ways of dealing with the officials and opposition players and this is the starkest difference between the two managers.
There is no guarantee that one manager’s behaviour on the pitch leads to wins but certainly it seems to be working more for Simeone as he has won a lot more than Pochettino. It will still be interesting to see how the Tottenham manager will deal with the pressure of expectations this season compared to Simeone who has already dealt with the limelight and seems to be doing a pretty good job of it.
Both Argentines are young and smart managers who seem to be getting better with each season and it won’t be a surprise that both win the league pretty soon with their respective sides.