In all three of these goals, and plenty of others scored in Pochettino’s 12-year managerial It’s a teacher thing shirt , the same characteristics are there. The precise way they play out from the back, never hoofing the ball long. The way the centre-backs split and drop. The way the full-backs provide width. The way possession is used as a means to dominate, but never the end in itself. The way the attacking players adopt the correct positions to give their team-mates options approaching the final third. The striking thing about these goals, and Pochettino’s teams at their best, is how well structured they are in possession. They are not quite as rigid as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, but that is the closest comparison from any other style of play in the game. And the advantage of being this organised in possession is that it allows Pochettino’s teams to do the one thing they are most famous for: press.
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