Pochettino expected to have more time at Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino has said he expected more time to turn last season around at Tottenham Hotspur and suggested that the club lost faith in his vision following the “mistakes” he made.
Pochettino was sacked last November, just five months after guiding Spurs to the Champions League final, and, in an interview yesterday with the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the 48-year-old also appeared to backtrack over previous claims that he would never manage Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho replaced Pochettino as Tottenham manager and, with the club having slipped to 14th in November, a strong finish during Project Restart lifted them to a final Premier League position of sixth.
Of his Tottenham departure, Pochettino said: “After the Champions League final, four years in the top four, two years without signings, a different management strategy was needed. Sometimes the vision of a coaching staff is not accepted by the club management. We anticipated what could happen.
“You need to fall, be down and then go up. But Tottenham made the decision to separate us after 5½ years. I understand that it is a long time.
“I was happy at Tottenham and I signed a contract. And we finished very well, the relationship is impeccable. 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. Respite was needed from both sides.”
Barcelona, who are coached by Quique Setien, have just lost their La Liga title to Real Madrid and are preparing to play Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Pochettino, who played for Barcelona’s city rivals Espanyol, had previously said that he would never coach Barca and “would prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than to go and work in certain places”.
Of that 2018 comment, he said:
“We have to explain it well. I was in Barcelona that year and I met [Barcelona president Josep] 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.
“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. In life you never know what will happen.”
Changing tune: Mauricio Pochettino appeared to backtrack over claims in 2018 that he would never manage Barcelona