Loyal, long-term Tottenham supporters waited for what seems like eons to see their team transform into a contender, so try imagine what it would feel like if everything came crashing down in an unbearable foul swoop.
My mum, in my formative, impressionable years, always told me to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst. The worst-case scenario for Tottenham, though, makes me wish I never thought in a prudent way, as it would resemble a scene from the Day After Tomorrow.
It includes Mauricio Pochettino being poached my Real Madrid, with Harry Kane as the Argentinian’s first purchase for the Galácticos. The thought of that catastrophic moment causes recurring, lucid nightmares.
While improbable, pessimists will direct you to the irrefutable and persuasive arguments as evidence of the armageddon-like moment becoming an eventuality. And those arguments shouldn’t be ignored, or overlooked: Mauricio Pochettino spent the peak of his playing career in Spain with Espanyol; he returned to Espanyol for his first managerial job, coaching the La Liga side from 2009-2012; Espanyol is to Barcelona what Arsenal is to Tottenham; Real Madrid is Barcelona’s main competition, and other than Espanyol, their fiercest rival. Real Madrid are back-to-back Champions League holders; and, as blatantly obvious as it might sound, Spanish is Pochettino’s native tongue.
Have the involuntary sweats started yet?
I won’t fire off the reasons Kane could be enticed to the Bernabeu. However, suffice to say that if Pochettino goes, so too does Kane.
You hear it all the time; no player is bigger than the club they play for.
Pochettino and Kane’s club
But what about the world’s most valuable forward and sought after coach, together as one?
That venerable, superstar package comes close to vetoing the rule. Pochettino and Kane, even in tandem, still aren’t bigger than Tottenham Hotspur Football Club; though it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the pair, particularly Pochettino, are the glue that holds the squad together.
Pochettino is the primary reason Spurs were able to sign Dele Alli, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth, Fernando Llorente, Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld.
He is the principle reason Tottenham have been able to hold on to Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, and to this point, Alderweireld.
And the Argentinian is also the main reason Harry Winks, Kane, Alli, Eriksen, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dier, Wanyama, Ben Davies, Son Heung-Min and Kieran Trippier have fulfilled their respective potentials.
It doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to foresee a potential player exodus if Tottenham’s charismatic boss leaves for pastures anew.
Would Tottenham recover if the duo leave for Madrid?
The club, knowing Spurs as I do, is, as a collective, blessed with the resilience and never-die persona to recover from such a disaster. But, like in the aftermath of a Category-5 hurricane, that recovery certainly wouldn’t happen overnight.
Some might consider the comparison of Pochettino and Kane departing for sunny Spain and the world coming to a violent, cataclysmic end as sensationalistic, even dramatic.
You obviously haven’t been a Spurs supporter long enough if that’s the case.
(This piece originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)