Spurs move for Pochettino

first_img The former Argentina international’s stock has risen markedly since his controversial appointment at St Mary’s in January 2013. Having arrived in English football a relative unknown, former Espanyol boss Pochettino’s possession-based, attacking game and focus on home-grown talent has impressed, as have his on-field results. “In Mauricio I believe we have a head coach who, with his high energy, attacking football, will embrace the style of play we associate with our club,” Levy said. “He has a proven ability to develop each player as an individual, whilst building great team spirit and a winning mentality. “We have a talented squad that Mauricio is excited to be coaching next season.” Pochettino’s Southampton future has been in doubt since the January departure of divisive executive chairman Nicola Cortese, having last summer claimed he would follow the Italian out of the club should he leave. The former defender did stay on at Saints after Cortese exited but only for a matter of months, with the club concluding negotiations with Spurs on Tuesday after accepting his resignation. Malky Mackay, Steve McClaren, Murat Yakin and Michael Laudrup are amongst the early frontrunners to replace Pochettino, while the departure will see speculation intensify over the future of Southampton’s players. Highly-rated teenager Luke Shaw and playmaker Adam Lallana have attracted interest from Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, while Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Jay Rodriguez have also been linked with a move away. Last month executive director Les Reed said the club’s intention was to keep their star players but Pochettino’s exit will make that harder, while also heaping the pressure on the recently-formed board, headed by chairman Ralph Krueger, to make a statement. “The club has been on a constant path of growth since the arrival of Markus Liebherr in 2009,” Kruger said in a statement on www.saintsfc.co.uk. “This growth took place before Mauricio came, it continued strongly under his leadership, and it will continue into the next season. “The board’s job is to find opportunity in this challenge and to continue to move the club forward. “We have begun the search for a new high-calibre manager. We will be looking for a manager that shares our values, our principles and our philosophy. “A manager who can continue to grow the first-team and build on our strong foundation – a foundation led by an ambitious vision and plan that continues to build on our world-class academy, our amazing 129-year heritage and our excellent staff, and rewards our loyal and passionate fan base.” Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed Tottenham head coach, leaving Southampton to pen a five-year deal at White Hart Lane. Press Association Saints managed their best-ever Barclays Premier League finish last season but, after months of speculation, will be now looking for a new manager after Pochettino signed a deal until 2019 to succeed Tim Sherwood in north London. “This is a club with tremendous history and prestige and I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to be its head coach,” Pochettino told Tottenham’s official website, www.tottenhamhotspur.com. “There is an abundance of top-class talent at the club and I am looking forward to starting work with the squad. “Tottenham Hotspur has a huge following across the world and I have great admiration for the passion the fans show for this team. “We are determined to give the supporters the kind of attacking football and success that we are all looking to achieve.” Pochettino had a year remaining on his deal at St Mary’s and has taken with him assistant manager Jesus Perez, first-team coach Miguel D’Agostino and goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez. It is unclear what those appointments mean for Spurs’ existing backroom team, while there have been reports questioning the future of technical director Franco Baldini. What is certain, though, is that Pochettino will be charged with securing Spurs a top-four finish by ambitious chairman Daniel Levy after a disappointing campaign, in which a flurry of summer signings failed to gel. last_img read more

Anna Shkudun’s knee problems led her to take on coaching

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Anna Shkudun walked off the court with tears running down her face. It was her final home match for Syracuse, and she had won.Behind all of the excitement and emotions after she clinched the win for the Orange in a 7-5, 6-2 win against Notre Dame on Sunday, one thought filled Shkudun’s mind: her future.Coming in to SU an experienced international prospect, Shkuden looked to a potential future as a professional player. In 2016, she became the first SU player invited to the NCAA tournament since 1996.But Shkudun dealt with pain in her left knee, leading to a surgery in November 2016. Shkudun, who still wears a knee brace during matches, struggled in 2017, posting a 2-13 singles record. Her dream of becoming a professional tennis player was crushed. To stay in the game, she decided to take up coaching.“Unfortunately, I do not have any components to help me play professionally because of my knee,” Shkudun said, “I would have to start everything from scratch, and I can’t do that anymore. I’m not the first singles player I was.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShkudun knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life around tennis, so she looked for other options. Shkudun was upfront with herself, she said, and made a personal decision to skip the professional tennis scene.“Coaching was my second plan,” Shkudun said, “I knew I wouldn’t play tennis my whole life anyways, so it’s just going to happen a little earlier than I expected.”Shkudun started to observe what it really takes to be a “good coach,” looking at what was working for her teammates and mixed the qualities of her coaches at SU to create her own coaching style. SU head coach Younes Limam brings more of a strategic approach to matches, while volunteer assistant coach Len Lopoo focuses on positive reinforcement to gear players in the right direction.Shkudun narrowed it down to four qualities: intensity, support, energy and positivity.“She’s gonna tell you not what you want to hear,” junior Libi Mesh said, “but what you need to hear.”The same authenticity that led Shkudun to bypass a professional career has rubbed off on her teammates. While Shkudun said she has to change her perspective from a collegiate tennis player to a coach, Mesh believes Shkudun acts as a player-coach for the team already.When Mesh first arrived to SU, the same year as Shkudun, Mesh struggled to cope with the new environment.“She made me realize to enjoy the little things in life,” Mesh said, “She cares so much and speaks from the heart. I can’t wait for her to continue it on.”After SU won against then-No. 3 Georgia Tech on April 1, Shkudun interviewed to coach at a tennis club outside of New York City. The meeting in Drumlins Country Club lasted more than two hours and she was ultimately offered a position to coach players of all ages. For the first part of the interview, Limam spoke on her behalf.“I just told them about how much she has a passion for tennis,” Limam said, “She doesn’t do it because she has to do it, so it was pretty obvious to support her on this decision.”As Shkudun’s tenure as a member of the Orange dwindles, the graduate student wants to leave her options open but knows tennis will be a part of her life for a long time. Though coaching was not her initial plan, Shkudun believes her decision is the right one.“I get to help people reach their potential, and I get to stay in tennis,” Shkudun said. “It’s everything I want.” Comments Published on April 16, 2018 at 11:49 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more