Tottenham

The Argentine Saving English Football

 • by Nick Callow
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With his recent call-up to the national team, Harry Winks joined the long list of Mauricio Pochettino prodigies to gain their first senior England cap whilst playing under the Argentine manager.

The 21-year-old produced a man of the match performance in his first game against Lithuania, a feat that did not surprise his club manager.

“I think he played very well, he was very calm,” said Pochettino. “To us, it was not a surprise because we know him very well and how he is, but I think it was fantastic that performance and opens the door for the future to be involved again.

“I think for Tottenham, for him, I think for Gareth [Southgate] and for English football it’s fantastic, another young player made a debut in the national team.”

Pochettino may be future-proofing the national squad for himself after admitting he would ‘relish’ the chance to manage the Three Lions, in Guillem Balague’s new book ‘A Brave New World’, and he claims he has produced so many internationals as a way of showing his gratitude to the country for making him feel so welcome.

“I think after five years here in England it’s the way to say thank you to everyone, to give the possibility to the English talent to play, to perform and to show they have enough quality to play in the national team is fantastic. I think we all feel very proud.”

The Tottenham manager has every right to feel pleased with the number of players he has steered towards international duty.

Since his arrival to English football in 2013, England debuts have been given out to 29 different players, impressively 11 of them were playing under Pochettino at the time of their call-up.

Another three players (Calum Chambers, James Ward-Prowse and Nathaniel Clyne) were given call-ups not long after a spell working under the manager.

England debutants who played for Pochettino:

Rickie Lambert – After impressing in the Premier League, Lambert was handed his first call-up at the age of 31 and went on to score three goals in 11 appearances, most notably scoring the winner on his debut, with his first touch of the game, against Scotland.

Adam Lallana – Lallana has been a constant in the England squad since his first cap in 2013. Gareth Southgate recently labelled him his best player during his time in charge, and the midfielder recently won the England Player of the Year Award for 2016.

Jay Rodriguez After showing plenty of potential under Pochettino at Southampton, Rodriguez earned his first call-up in 2013. But after playing one game for the senior side, the striker’s career has been hit by injuries.

Luke Shaw – Since his senior debut in 2014, Shaw has featured seven times for the national team. Seen as the future of the side, various injuries and lack of playing time means he has yet to regain his form seen under Pochettino.

Harry Kane – Kane could be Pochettino’s greatest England product yet, having scored 12 goals in his 23 England appearances. He has been ever-present since his debut and looks to become permanent England captain in the near future.

England Players Who Played For Pochettino:

Ryan Mason – After being included in the squad, Mason only made one appearance from the bench. A dip in form saw him move away from Tottenham to Hull, where he is currently recovering from a serious skull injury.

Dele Alli The young midfielder has made 22 appearances for England, scoring on two occasions. He is one of the great hopes for the 2018 World Cup, a key player for Spurs and a Real Madrid transfer target.

Eric Dier – Since his call-up in 2015, one-time Manchester United transfer target Dier has become an integral part of the team playing 23 times and scoring three goals. His first goal for the side was a winner against Germany in Berlin.

Danny Rose – Pochettino’s first promise to Rose was an England cap. He received his call-up in 2016 and has since played 12 times for the team. Subject of Manchester City transfer rumours over the summer, the left-back is finally back from a long-term injury lay-off.

Kieran Trippier – Having impressed under Pochettino, after filling Kyle Walker’s space in the Tottenham squad, Trippier was called up for his debut in June this year.

Harry Winks – Pochettino blocked a loan move away from Spurs for Winks so that the midfielder could ‘stay and learn’ from him and after just 15 starts for his club, the 21-year-old was called up to the national team in October.

After having so much success with the senior national team, Pochettino is also producing internationals for the Under-21 squad. Both Kyle Walker-Peters and Josh Onomah have received call-ups under the guidance of Pochettino.

It’s been hard to get excited about England for a while now, but Pochettino is more than doing his bit to change that.

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