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. Now Pochettino has spoken about his time at the club and the way it all ended last year.
Mauricio Pochettino said “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? 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. 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 and there was wear; respite was needed from both sides. 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, [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. 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, 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.”
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