Why would Mauricio Pochettino want to swap Tottenham for Manchester United?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 18 December 2018, 12:37

THERE ARE some people who enjoy funerals. But those are the kind of people you really don’t want sitting behind you in a cinema when it plunges into darkness.

We have reached the climactic finale of ‘Mourinho V - More Of The Same’ as the abrasive Portuguese coach turned Britain’s most successful football club of the modern into a mish mash of feuding players, inept executives and baffled supporters.

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To those of a certain age it’s all been seen before, rather like the Rocky Films that went on too long. The first one was powerful, emotive, captivating. By the end nobody bothered to buy a ticket and give it a go.

Even Sylvester Stallone, the original Rocky who later directed the terminal episode of the series, admitted it was s**t.

Mourinho’s passion for fighting the world is now just the same old story. At Chelsea twice, Inter Milan and then Real Madrid he has rubbed more people up the wrong way than a randy puppy in Spring.

The problem is that it’s all well and good ditching the bloke; clubs like Manchester United always find the money to pay them off and buy in someone new to try to maintain the current illusion that they are still a major force in football.

However, the wreckage left behind by the likes of Mourinho can take quite some time to clear away for the next guy.

It can easily take a year of earnest counselling to bring some players round again. Even longer to flog the ones too badly damaged by the previous regime and replacing them.


As the rumours gather pace about who that sucker will be, many eyes are turning to Mauricio Pochettino - the charismatic manager of Tottenham Hotspur, who has won no trophies but an army of admirers for the magical way he keeps an entire dressing room of ambitious young men onside without winning a pot.

With the exception of Kyle Walker the players appear to be right behind Pochettino - and not in the way you would want Mourinho behind you.

The one-time formidable Argentine defender has brought 25 or so massive egos together to fight for each other and put self-interest to one side for 90 minutes at the weekend at least.

Tottenham’s remarkable late resurgence to remain in the Champions League this season is testament to that.

He has further embarrassed Mourinho and many others by doing it without buying a player in the summer, while the tired old Special One has moaned about transfer policy.

Spurs have their problems; no club is perfect. The delays to the new stadium have provided many comedy moments, seats that buckle in the sun, even the design which looks like a giant loo from the air would make a nice scene in ‘Carry On Construction’.

But just recently the PR department was quick to issue a short video showing sweeping views of the new White Hart Lane as it at lasts approaches completion. It’s breathtaking.

Filmed from the back of one stand there are steep banks of seats in close proximity to the pitch, stretching high up into the Heavens. It’s the right shape and the right size. In time it will be a superb place to play football.

Meanwhile Old Trafford is a shell these days. It’s been packed out with tourists for home games for a long while. The kind of fans who don’t have the club flowing through their blood so are unable to make their feelings known, to demand change. Well, when you’re too busy getting selfies in the Stretford End you wouldn’t.

So quite why Pochettino would fancy swapping places with Mourinho is a huge question.

At the moment he has a supportive chairman in Daniel Levy, a bunch of players buying into his philosophy and the chance to lead a team containing Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Hugo Lloris and the vastly-underrated Heung Min Son onto virgin grass for the first game at a stunning new ground.

If he took Mourinho’s old job he’d have to play psychiatrist first and manager second on a long road back for what was once Britain’s proudest club but is now on the cutting room floor like Rocky VI.

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