Failure to launch

With both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur exiting the FA Cup at the semi-final stage, it brought both clubs hopes of silverware this season to an end.

Assuming Chelsea don’t slip up in the title race, Mauricio Pochettino will be concerned that his side are becoming the best team to win nothing. There’s been plenty of attractive football on offer but nothing to show for it once again.

Pep Guardiola will simply be disappointed. It’s easy to imagine that he expected things to be much easier than this in Manchester.

Given the level they operate at, the lack of silverware will see both managers regarding this season as a failure. In comparison, though, it’s the Guardiola who has been the bigger flop. A look at both sides’ title challenges emphasises that point.

Under Pochettino, Spurs have been serious title contenders. In the last few weeks, they’ve put stern pressure on a Chelsea side that have been comfortable.

Meanwhile, City’s challenge has been non-existent. After a strong start, they’ve fallen away drastically. They currently sit 11 points behind the league leaders and only a single point is keeping them in the top four; Champions League football next season is far from certain.

It’ll also be the first year without a trophy for Guardiola. For a manager who many believe to be the best in the world, that’s unacceptable. Those higher up at the club will certainly think so, there’s no doubt they expected more for their money.

Before the season began, Tottenham would have considered second place and an FA Cup semi-final as a decent campaign. Pochettino has achieved his aims; Guardiola has fallen way short of his.

A look at both teams compared to last season also puts Pochettino ahead. While Spurs have progressed, City have stood still.

After the disappointing end to last season, Tottenham have learned from the experience. In contrast, Manchester City have not improved under Guardiola’s tutelage. The best they can hope for this season is third place. That’s no better than what Manuel Pellegrini was offering.

There’s also the issue of style to consider. While Pochettino has refined his this season, Guardiola has done the opposite; the Spaniard has proven unsuccessful in his attempt to bring his philosophy to the Etihad.

See also: The last time Tottenham finished above Arsenal the world was very different

In fact, it can be argued his determination to mould City in his image has held them back. The decision to replace Joe Hart for Claudio Bravo is proof of that.

Indeed, the football visionary that fans have adored from afar has been strangely absent. Just like his team, Guardiola has been disappointing to the max. Ask anyone who has had to sit through his press conferences.

No doubt when both clubs assess their seasons they will be disappointed. However, when comparing both managers, there is only one big loser.

Each has plenty of years to improve with either side and will undoubtedly do so. Based on this season alone, though, Guardiola has been a far bigger failure than Mauricio Pochettino.

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