Neil Humphreys: May the Foyth be with you
Tottenham defender's rise is a reflection of Pochettino's managerial genius
Take a moment to consider what has happened in your life in the last month. It probably isn't much. Last month, I was clean-shaven. Today, I have a beard.
Last month, Juan Foyth was an unknown kid at Tottenham Hotspur, still waiting to make his first full start of the season.
Today, he is preparing to take on Chelsea, after he conceded two penalties at Wolves, then he scored the winner against Crystal Palace and then he made his international debut for Argentina against Mexico and strutted off with Man of the Match honours.
The 20-year-old did all that in less than a month. It's hard not to feel inadequate.
But then, most English Premier League managers should feel inadequate around Mauricio Pochettino.
The Tottenham coach spotted Foyth at Estudiantes. He signed him. He made him. And he might even start him in the pivotal London Derby on Sunday morning (Singapore time).
If Foyth's meteoric rise feels inevitable, then you haven't been paying close attention to the EPL. Jose Mourinho spent £500 million (S$883m) at Manchester United and still rages against the machines of perceived incompetence upstairs, blaming them for the lack of funds to reinforce his squad.
In the summer, Pochettino was an incontinent man at a public toilet. He didn't spend a penny.
Pep Guardiola shuffled the world's most expensive pack to cope with Kevin de Bruyne's injury and was hailed for his tactical nous. Manchester City lost one key player.
Of the 12 Tottenham players who went to the World Cup, nine picked up injuries in the first three months of the season.
Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez's enforced absences certainly encouraged Pochettino to pick the kid from Argentina, but he had other, safer options.
There was Eric Dier, who has slotted in at centre-back, but he was left on the bench. Pochettino sent in a boy to do a man's job against Palace and was rewarded with a monstrous performance.
Before the international break, Juergen Klopp lamented Liverpool's annual fixture pile-up, with exhausted footballers falling faster than autumn's leaves.
But Tottenham played five games in 13 days and won them all, apart from a narrow 1-0 loss to Man City. Hardly an embarrassment, considering City's limitless resources and a functioning stadium.
Pochettino's weary travellers don't even have a home to call their own. White Hart Lane's interminable construction delays will leave them stranded at Wembley again on Sunday, a soulless venue that ripped up the turf recently for an NFL game and left Spurs trudging through a pockmarked disgrace.
But there was not a peep of complaint from Pochettino, nor little in the way of praise for his remarkable ability to keep his cash-starved club float. While his rivals complain, he quietly unearths another gem like Foyth and moves on.
When it comes to smart recruitment, Pochettino has made the magical seem almost mundane. He's turned the art of talent-spotting into an everyday affair. Arsenal and United both know that isn't the case.
Foyth isn't a one-off, just the latest off the Pochettino production line.
When Kyle Walker was sold to Man City, angry Spurs fans began their self-flagellating, punishing themselves for still being a "selling club", especially when Pochettino went shopping at Burnley rather than Barcelona.
Kieran Trippier replaced Walker. He joined a kid called Harry Winks. Pochettino turned them both into first-team regulars. Then he turned them over to England. Trippier started the World Cup semi-final.
Pochettino doesn't merely pick promising youngsters and unheralded names. He persists with them. He's almost a throwback to simpler times, when teenagers were permitted the odd stumble by managers who knew they were relatively safe in their jobs.
Today, if a kid cocks up, a coach gets fired. Patience isn't a virtue. It's self-harm. But Pochettino seems immune to the destructive elements of the EPL's ticking time bomb.
Foyth conceded two penalties against Wolves earlier this month, but his manager saw beyond the rash mistakes. He recognised a young, assured centre-back, relaxed on the ball and confident to play from the back.
He didn't reach for the panic button, but the teamsheet. Foyth kept his spot against Palace and his performance was revelatory.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni even thanked Pochettino after Foyth's display in the 2-0 win over Mexico. Not for the first time, Pochettino had handed an international manager a blossoming youngster.
If jetlag hasn't overwhelmed Foyth, he'll face Chelsea at Wembley.
Spurs won't win the EPL, but when it comes to finding and polishing rare gems, Pochettino is in a league of his own.