Spurs Boss Mauricio Pochettino Emerges From Manchester United Speculation With Reputation Enhanced

Spurs Boss Mauricio Pochettino Emerges From Manchester United Speculation With Reputation Enhanced
19:54, 29 Mar 2019

Cast your mind back to December.

Jose Mourinho has just been sacked by Manchester United and nearly everyone is pitching the same candidate to replace the Portuguese boss: Mauricio Pochettino.

The much-admired Spurs manager was repeatedly and forcefully mentioned as United’s number one target. Arguments raged about whether Spurs or United was the bigger club and it was speculated how much it would cost to prise the Argentinian away from North London.

Not that such gossip seemed to bother Pochettino who has been linked with several posts during the last few years including arguably the biggest of them all - at Real Madrid as a replacement for Zinedine Zidane.

Spurs became rightly fed up with reporters asking Pochettino about his future plans and - hypothetically - would he like to take over at Old Trafford. Famously, one press conference was stopped by the club’s media officer as he grew tired of the repeated referrals to the vacancy at United. Pochettino laughed off the incident and seemed genuinely embarrassed by the frosty exchange.

His refusal to talk about the chance of him going to United only served to endear him to the Spurs fans even more. After all, Spurs were on the verge of a move to their wonderful new stadium after months of delays and their European campaign was gathering pace even if their title challenge was fraying at the edges.

As Mourinho’s replacement, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, worked his magic at Old Trafford, the questions to Pochettino dried up and when United secured that amazing Champions League win in Paris, it seemed a question of when not if the Norwegian would be made the permanent manager.

Yesterday, that news was confirmed and Solskjaer spoke glowingly about his players and coaching staff as well as dropping a few hints about summer recruitment. The Pochettino speculation finally put to bed - apart from the fact he was asked about Solskjaer’s appointment today.

He replied with the kind of diplomacy which has been his trademark over the last few months.

"I never talked about rumours," he explained. "I need to congratulate him and wish him all the best, now he is officially the new manager of Manchester United. I am not going to talk about rumours and in this period there is going to be more rumours, but there is nothing I can do about it.”

It remains to be seen just how long Pochettino will be at Spurs but he appears to be totally content with his situation and the prospect of life in one of world football’s finest new stadiums clearly excites him. His behaviour through this whole affair has marked him out as a class act. Spurs are lucky to have him.