Pochettino admits he made mistakes at Tottenham but hints his ‘vision’ was not accepted by board

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Mauricio Pochettino has admitted making mistakes at Tottenham Hotspur but also suggested that “sometimes the vision of a coaching staff is not accepted by the club management”.

Five months after leading the club to their first Champions League final, the Argentine was relieved of his duties by chairman Daniel Levy in November and replaced the following morning by Jose Mourinho.

Pochettino has since admitted that his dream is to return to Spurs one day and win them the trophies he was unable to during his five and a half years in north London.


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Now, in a new interview with Spanish media outlet El Pais, Pochettino has spoken about his time at the club and the way it all ended last year.

“We live in a results environment where it seems that all the things that have a good result are the ones that serve, but how do you measure what works or not?” he said.

“Only the one who wins or the one who exceeds expectations? After the Champions League final, four years in the top four, two years without signing [new players], a different management strategy was needed.

“Sometimes the vision of a coaching staff is not accepted by the club management. We anticipate what could happen. You need to fall, be down and then go up, but Tottenham made the decision to separate us after five and a half years. I understand that it is a long time.”

Pochettino turned down the opportunity to speak to Real Madrid the year before he was sacked by Tottenham but he does not regret the decision and admits that he and his coaching staff made mistakes as well that led Spurs to 14th in the table when he left the club.

“I was happy at Tottenham and I signed a contract and we finished very well, the relationship is impeccable,” he said.

“I always say, without false humility, that we too have made mistakes that have led to what happened.

“Although we did expect a little more support or reassurance to reverse the situation, but the club line was going another way and there was wear; respite was needed from both sides.”

Pochettino also spoke about how he felt he and his staff played their part on having an influence on English football after first arriving at Southampton and then Spurs.

“It was not easy because one of the first things the [Southampton] president told me was that he signed me because he wanted the team to play as the Dream Team . He showed us a video of that Barça. “This is my philosophy. Apply it!”, he said,” explained Pochettino.

“[I thought] that Messi, Xavi, Iniesta had to be brought! But the most beautiful thing and what remains is that with those young and English players —Clyne, Lambert, Jay Rodríguez, Prowse, Cork, Lallana, Shaw, Chambers—, we started to propose a different football.

“In the second season, in November, we had the possibility to put ourselves first playing against Arsenal. That attracted attention. It was not the way to press but how we played from behind, with positional attack, retrieve the ball high and attack fast. It was a change of mentality and it was seen that the English could do it.

“I think together with Brendan Rodgers. We changed the mentality of English football a bit and the arrival of Pep later cemented and settled everything because today, in any quarry in the world, what predominates is the capacity of that associative and positional game that has invaded world football. There is no longer the Menotti – Bilardo debate as in his time.”

The Argentine was asked whether it was easier to work with young players.

“No, it is the same. We did come to Dele Alli, Kane, but also to Lloris, who after winning with France, left me the World Cup in my office while I was at Tottenham,” he said.

“I enjoyed training and that’s the key you have to play. Having great players is not incompatible with being humane.

“You earn [respect] with actions, not with what you say.”

Now Pochettino must look to the future and he was asked whether he wants a chance to win titles at his next club.

“The coaches misapply that the project finds us. It seems that we demand a project and not. It is to find a club, president or people who go hand in hand with the ideas we have and that we believe can bring you closer to success,” he said.

“When that offer arrives, we will all say yes.

“The Premier League has taken advantage in the commercial, the marketing, but La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga are also very powerful, similar.

“We adapted well to the Premier League, but we are open to new challenges and opening another horizon would be enriching.”

Pochettino also spoke about his comment that he would rather go back to Argentina and work on a farm than manage Barcelona or Arsenal.

“WE have to explain it well. I was in Barcelona that year and I met [Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu in a bar. We greeted each other because we were taking the children to the same school and we were talking for five minutes,” he explained.

“That generated a rumour that set off alarms because there were more teams that wanted us, and when they asked me I wanted to settle it drastically.

“I did not want to disrespect Barcelona . You can say things differently. Espanyol has made a name for me, but I’m not arrogant and I didn’t like making a statement like that. Maybe now he wouldn’t because in life you never know what will happen.”





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