Manchester City and Manchester United summer spending sprees, which reached the $400-million mark when combined, are a sign of sheer desperation, according to Mauricio Pochettino.
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While clubs regularly “bought” Premier League titles over the last two and a half decades, the 2015-16 season — won by little Leicester City; followed closely by frugal north London sides Arsenal and Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur — was a welcome reprieve, in the eyes of many, from the biggest, richest clubs winning the title season after season.
One might have foolishly thought that would inspire clubs to reconsider their approach; perhaps build a squad of well-scouted players who form a functional, collective unit; rather than opting for the biggest, most expensive names. It’s a memo missed by the Manchester giants, and Pochettino says it reeks of desperation — quotes from the AP:
“When you spend a lot of money, it’s because you are worried about your squad and desperate to improve it. I’m very happy with my players and because of that I’m very quiet and relaxed. I trust my squad 100 percent.”
Let’s examine the PL’s big boys’ net spends this summer:
Man City: $195 million
Man United: $185 million
Chelsea: $56 million
Arsenal: $41 million
Liverpool: $26 million
Tottenham: $26 million
City and United have spent big this summer — that story checks out, but one thing we must acknowledge before lamenting their doing so: new managers almost always build through massive turnover among the first-team squad. Not everyone can walk into a new club and build a title contender in two seasons, recouping $32 million more than what they’ve spent along the way, you know, as Pochettino has done at Spurs.