Arsene Wenger vs Mauricio Pochettino: Is either manager as good or bad as they are made out?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 17 November 2017, 11:28

IF TOTTENHAM beat Arsenal tomorrow they will have beaten the sixth-best team in England.

It’s a stark statistic that says a lot about the managers of both teams.

Victory for Spurs will be saluted as a statement of intent, a seismic shift in the north London powerbase.

An Arsenal win means they retain the status of the overall superior club despite recent lack of success.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is being talked down, as ever. His counterpart Mauricio Pochettino is being talked up.

One’s a busted flush the other is flush with promise and potential.

But is there an argument that if truth be told, neither of them are what they are cracked up to be?

Wenger’s failings are well documented: no Premier League title since 2004, now relegated to playing European football on a Thursday night.

His judgement is being questioned and his reputation is being worn down by so many years of spectacular underachievement. Lots of the supporters want him out and he is sitting down to ‘discuss’ his future with the board at the end of this season.

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Pochettino on the other hand is yet to win a trophy in almost five years as a manager in England.

There is no doubt he is a talented individual. He has done enough for Spurs to be reinstated as one of the top teams in the land.

He is working hard to create a dynasty at Tottenham - new stadium almost complete, a vibrant squad of young, energetic and ambitious, budding stars.

But not a cup to be seen on his CV. It’s a well-used argument the same as the one which criticises Wenger. But it’s a sound one.

Sure, there have been great results for Spurs throughout Pochettino’s three years plus in charge. They have run the biggest teams close in the title race.

Just a few weeks ago beating Real Madrid in the Champions League rightfully classed as an immortal night in the history of Tottenham.

But there is still an overriding sense that Pochettino has to prove himself by actually winning something.

Wenger has won plenty in the dim and distant past but he has got to prove himself all over again.

The big question is who would you rather have in charge of your club right now?

Would it be the promise of Poch or the cobwebbed pedigree of Wenger?

With the former you are still stepping into the unknown a little. Everyone is still waiting to see whether Pochettino does have what it takes to get a team over the line in the title race.

When it comes to Wenger there is an overriding feeling that his best days are behind him. At 68 that is perfectly natural.

But with Wenger comes the fact that at least he has done it before. He has taken his players all the way, deep inside his rusty old coaching volumes, there is a winner, locked away in his previous achievements.

Arsenal and Spurs fans put aside your ferocious rivalry for a minute and ask which one of the two men would you prefer to have as your manager?

It’s not as black and white as it seems.

One was a winner and the other hasn’t won anything, yet. Whatever the result tomorrow that is not going to change overnight.

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