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Mauricio Pochettino Set for European Milestone When Spurs Face Olympiacos in Champions League Opener
90min
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:34

Mauricio Pochettino Set for European Milestone When Spurs Face Olympiacos in Champions League Opener

90min
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:34

​Since Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival at Tottenham in May 2014, the former Argentina defender has guided the club into Europe every season.

Mauricio Pochettino Set for European Milestone When Spurs Face Olympiacos in Champions League Opener

Firstly, in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, Spurs featured in the Europa League, Pochettino leading his side out of the group stage on both occasions before they came unstuck firstly by Fiorentina in the last 32 and then Borussia Dortmund a year later in the last 16.
Since 2016, when Spurs finished third in the 2015/16 season, the Lilywhites have finished inside the top four of the Premier League every year, qualifying for the Champions League for the last three seasons with this upcoming campaign being the fourth.
Whilst reaching the final - which we will get to in more detail later - and managing his enthusiastic and energetic Spurs side against Liverpool back in June in Madrid was a very special moment for Pochettino, next Wednesday’s Group B match away at Olympiacos will also be a major moment in the 47-year-olds career.
This is because it will be the 50th time Pochettino has managed Tottenham in a European game. This is a superb milestone to reach, considering only club legend Bill Nicholson, who guided the club to the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963 and the UEFA Cup in 1972, has managed Spurs in more European games with 55.
Pochettino is well ahead of the likes of Harry Redknapp, whose 15 games in Europe included that run to the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2011, and Keith Burkinshaw, who oversaw 12 games from 1981 to 1984.
Last season, Spurs enjoyed a fairy tale run to the final, hammering Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 and edging ​Manchester City - with a little help from VAR - in an absolute cracker of a quarter final tie. 
An incredible victory over Ajax in the semi final, where Lucas Moura inspired Spurs to one of the most remarkable comebacks ever, was the high point and meant Pochettino could still be unbelievably proud of his side even after defeat in the final to ​Liverpool.
That 2-0 loss to their Premier League rivals will act as added motivation for the Lilywhites this season, and there will be belief in the squad that they can go toe to toe with Europes best again this time around.
Spurs find themselves in a reasonably tricky group this term containing German giants ​Bayern Munich, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos.
However, even if Spurs were to finish bottom of the group and crash out of Europe, Pochettino will have at least equalled Nicholson’s record of 55 games by December as they play six group games. The plan will still be to smash this record and lead the club to the latter stages of the competition again, and who knows potentially going one step further than last year.
Dare to dream Spurs fans, dare to dream. 

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