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World Cup

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has his fingerprints all over World Cup semis

Pep Guardiola's influence on international football has certainly been felt over the last decade. In addition to the trophies he has collected as a manager, the coaching style he used so effectively at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City has turned heads and influenced the last two World Cup winners.

However, another Premier League manager has emerged as the most influential coach in Russia 2018: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino.

The 46-year-old Tottenham manager has more of his players in the seminfinals than any other coach: Hugo Lloris (France); Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele (Belgium); and Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane (England).

Although it's not his managing style that's on display in Russia, Pochettino's work in developing the talent still in contention is front and center.

It is Mauricio Pochettino and not Pep Guardiola who has left the biggest footprint among club managers at this World Cup.

His discoveries

In 2014, his first season at Tottenham, Pochettino signed Dier after just one year of first-team football at Sporting Lisbon. Today, Dier -- who is half English and half Portuguese -- is a versatile player capable of being used as a midfielder or full-back.

A year later, Pochettino requested the addition of Alderweireld, a central defender who can also play as a full-back. While the Belgian had already made a name for himself after a brief stint with Atletico Madrid, Trippier was more of a gamble. Signed from Burnley as a backup to Kyle Walker, the right-back Trippier took over the starting spot when Walker departed to Guardiola's Manchester City and left nothing to be desired. Thanks to his ability on set pieces and at delivering crosses, Trippier is a starter for England alongside Walker, who manager Gareth Southgate uses as a third defender.

Pochettino's biggest signing has proven to be Alli, who arrived from MK Dons for €6.6 million. After three years under the manager, the 22-year-old Alli has played 146 games and scored 46 goals for Tottenham and become one of the biggest young stars in Europe.

Opportunities granted

Danny Rose was loaned four times by Tottenham by 2013, but he settled in with Pochettino and has played 102 of his 161 games with Spurs under the Argentine boss.

However, the player who has made by far the biggest turnaround under the Pochettino is Kane. After being loaned four times, he made the most out of his chances under Pochettino and has turned himself into one of the world's most coveted footballers.The top scorer in Russia with six strikes, Kane has 140 goals in 213 games with Tottenham and is England's greatest hope to lead the Three Lions to their second World Cup title.


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