Football Insights - Mauricio Pochettino
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Football Insights - Mauricio Pochettino

In part three of our Football Insights series featuring ambassador Guillem Balague and his award-winning books, Guillem turns his attention to Mauricio Pochettino and his book “Brave New World” an exclusive behind-the-scenes story of the Mauricio Pochettino revolution at Spurs, told in his own words. Guillem also gives his expert opinion on where the future of Pochettino lies.

Your book on Mauricio Pochettino looked at the job he over 5+ years at Tottenham. Securing 2 x 2nd place finishes, leading them to a Champions League Final last season – how impressive is Poch’s body of work at Tottenham?

I’m a fan of Pochettino, what can I say? He changed the history of the club but I’m not sure that the recent steps that Spurs have taken are ones that truly respect the legacy of Pochettino. That’s a shame because once you create an identity, it would have been good if the identity is respected when you are replaced.

You can say that perhaps once a new manager comes, after Mourinho, that it gets recovered but it was a good opportunity to maintain his legacy 

If Spurs felt that it had come to the end of the road for Pochettino, it would’ve been a good opportunity to continue his work that but it hasn’t happened and that’s a shame. There are directors that feel that winning can be done in different ways, with the same squad, I don’t agree with that.

The Spurs players have had the same continuity and way of thinking and it’s very difficult to suddenly adopt new methods when they have enjoyed success with the previous philosophy.

Where do you see his next managerial challenge coming from? He has been linked with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus over the past few months – which of these moves do you feel are most likely?

Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, PSG, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan – they have all approached him in the last year, and Barcelona. He is the only manager, I know, in recent times, to have said no to both Barcelona and Real Madrid in the space of a year and a half, so he has had the opportunity and said no to both.

The first no to Real Madrid was because he was at Spurs and no to Barcelona was because it didn’t feel right to replace Ernesto Valverde. There were others that approached too, if Pochettino had said yes then Quique Setien would not be in charge at Barcelona.

He’s going to have to wait now, there’s no clear path to a managerial role at any of those clubs. Someone said Newcastle, but Newcastle aren’t at that level where he wants to be right now, they could be a project like Spurs were when he first arrived.

But there are questions around ownership, whether there is money available, if there is money available then Newcastle will be at the forefront of many people’s thoughts.

The value of the players are going to diminish and not everybody will have money available be able to buy players – the problem is that they have to get the finances right and try to maximise the potential of FFP.

That means that it will be quite a while before Newcastle will compete for the biggest players but what next?

It could be Manchester City after Pep Guardiola, let’s see what happens with Bayern as he has great admirers there and at PSG as well, he was a former player Manchester United now feel safe and steady under Solksjaer to I think Pochettino will have to be patient for the time being.

Harry Kane made comments in a recent Instagram Live Q&A with Jamie Redknapp that suggested he’d be open to a future move away from Tottenham. How much of an impact do you think Pochettino leaving Spurs has had on him? Do you think a move could happen in the next 12 months?

I don’t think there will be a move in the next 12 months, but next summer is where is could get interesting.

It makes sense for Harry Kane to move after the end of next season because he’s always wanted to challenge himself that way. I think that Spurs have reached a limit which they won’t be able to surpass for a while, so for Kane he needs to move on to go on to the next step.

At the point in which he wants to leave, and meet a challenge abroad with Juventus or Real Madrid, I think Manchester United might be in a position to convince him to stay in England. Then he will be in a position to decide what he really wants from the next stage of his career.

Playing and living abroad is very demanding and it can affect your confidence if you don’t start well and we have seen these moves don’t always work out.

Whereas being at Manchester United, if they reach the heights we expect them to get to in the next couple of years, he would be a major part of this. 

All of this is speculation, he isn’t in the list for Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid or any of the major clubs in Europe,  so we will see what happens in the coming months. For me, it makes sense for him to leave not this summer, but next summer.

V: 1.23.0 All rights reserved. August 2021