Is Pochettino eyeing Real Madrid job?

It’s always seemed likely that Mauricio Pochettino and Real Madrid‘s paths would cross at some point.

The Argentine coach has a good reputation among the club’s fans and has made no secret of his admiration of Los Blancos.

With Jose Mourinho out of the picture – in Pochettino’s former office at Tottenham Hotspur no less – the former Espanyol boss is favourite to take over at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, should Real Madrid ever decide to change coach.

Like for everyone else involved in the sport, the suspension of football has halted Pochettino’s plans for the future. He’s been without a job since being sacked by Spurs in November 2019, just months after taking them to a historic Champions League final.

Manchester United are one of the clubs to have been linked with Pochettino, while he’s also been mentioned when Zinedine Zidane has struggled in Madrid.

There was a chance for Pochettino to take the Real Madrid reigns in the summer of 2018, following Zidane’s resignation.

However, Daniel Levy’s refusal to negotiate the departure of his coach, who had recently penned a new contract, put a stop to that.

Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane reflect on their goals for Tottenham Hotspur

Victor Wanyama’s goal against Liverpool on Sunday, without doubts, raised hopes for their unbelievable last minute equalizer, but the Kenyan professional footballer says he knew his goalless drought would be broken someday despite some insulting comments from teammates, and the day came with more blessings than expected.

Wanyama’s first goal for Spurs was voted England’s goal of the weekend. What a great inspiration for the Kenyan who featured for his country’s national team at the age of 15.

According to an online poll conducted by SkySportsl, Wanyama scooped 60 percent votes from fans, beating Egyptian, Mohammed Salah’s second goal that garnered 27 percent of votes.

Video of the 26-year-old’s beast-like, ferocious stunner driving into the Loris Karius net would have been nearly impossible if we didn’t see it for ourselves.

“It was a fantastic goal – it was the plan, no! I am so happy because he helps the team to achieve one point,” said Pochettino, who believes the spectacular performance and result were facilitated by hard work and confidence.

“He [Wanyama] has had a few shots in recent games and they’ve ended up near the corner flag so we told him not to shoot,” said Harry Kane, who grabbed a century of goals from his second spot kick.

“He’s proved us wrong!” Kane continued. “Fair play to him, he stuck it to us today. He’s produced one of the best strikes I’ve seen. I probably haven’t scored a better one than that to be fair!”

In his post-match interview, Wanyama, who previously played for Celtic and Southampton, said: “I’ve had a couple of shots when I’ve come on and the lads haven’t been happy with me and said I should stop shooting.

“I said ‘I will continue shooting and one day, one will end up in the back of the net’. That day was today.

“I’m really glad. You can shoot like that 100 times and maybe never score once, so I’m happy to score this time and help the team.”

“[On the game and Kane’s second penalty] It’s a difficult place to play,” the Kenyan footballer said, “they give us a tough time but as the game went on we got better and showed what we can do.

“It was a strange end to the game, we put a lot of pressure on them, they got one ball forward and scored so we were down 2-1 then Harry stepped up again and scored the penalty. I said for Harry to miss for a second time is impossible.”

“[On reaching 100 Premier League goals] Let’s just keep them coming,” Kane said.

“Prior to the season, I had an ambition to complete my 100 Premier League goals, and it’s a surprise that I did it earlier than I thought SO I’ll keep going and see how many I can get.”

What Pochettino thinks about Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Liverpool

Liverpool’s Premier League match against Mauricio Pochettino’s team stirred huge controversies in the football world, with some pundits saying Harry Kane’s 95th minute equalizer shouldn’t have happened while others say the visitors deserved two penalties at Anfiled but were awarded only one.

Kane, who scored his 100th goal for Spurs, had earlier hit a spot-kick straight at Loris Karius before maximizing the second chance.


Image: Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino admits a point from the game enhances their Champions League qualification hopes, but has a lot to say about the controversial events that helped them fight back from a Mohamed Salah double.

Speaking at a press briefing, Pochettino said: “It was an amazing game and I think we played so well.”

The team got 69% possession and 13-9 efforts at goal, a stat which proves the team deserves commendations.

“It was unbelievable in the way we showed such character because when we conceded the second goal it was tough, right at the end of the game, yet we had the belief to keep going until the end,” adds the 45-year-old.

Pochettino, a former Argentina international footballer who played as a center-back, said Liverpool’s first goal dampened their spirits, adding that the hosts’ proficient counter attacks made it hard to react on time.

He also praised Victor Wanyama’s stunning goal against The Reds saying, “What a goal! It was an amazing goal and that helped us to believe and the team to achieve the result we wanted. It’s good for his confidence and belief. I’m very happy for him.”

He added, “We were unlucky to concede a goal in the first action in the first few minutes and it was difficult to react against a team like Liverpool who love to play on the counter-attack. We were fantastic and I congratulate the players.”

Pochettino, Dele and Davies reflect on losing to Manchester United

Mauricio Pochettino said he felt disappointed after losing 1-0 to Jose Mourinho’s team at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Image shows Dele Ali in action for Tottenham Hotspur.

The English Premier League match between Spurs and United started on a balance; the former had six straight away wins while their hosts boast of a 4-match home wins.

Mourinho’s men started their home game with motivation, having lost 2-1 to low-rated Huddersfield in their previous league game while Tottenham thrashed Liverpool 4-1.

Prior to Saturday’s encounter against second-placed United, Pochettino’s men were #3 on the Premier League table. However, they showed attitude and strength against the Red Devils who grabbed a lucky win through Anthony Martial.

The Frenchman came in as a second-half substitute for Marcus Rashford at the 70th minute and scored 11 minutes later. United’s first sub was Lingard, who replaced Mkhitaryan (65) and Darmian, who went in for Young after 90 minutes. Spurs substituted Sissoko and Son for Dembele and Llorente on the 62nd minute. Their tactics and structure remained the same despite the changes, for it was a game of wits.

Rashford, Sissoko, Dele Ali and Romelu Lukaku, who later got an assist, all had their fair share of missed shots in the tensed match, but a sloppy strike from Martial won the game for United at the 81st minute.

Speaking to newsmen at a post-match conference, Pochettino said: ‘We should have been singing a new song…It was a good game, one that we could have won 1-0 if Dele had scored when he got the chance. Football is about small details and when the game is even, small, small things can change everything. That’s football and we have to accept it.’

The former Argentina international footballer continued, ‘It’s painful because we made great efforts and played a fantastic game. I feel bad for my players. It’s a difficult way to lose. We need to learn and try to improve.

‘It hurts more because the game was balanced, entertaining, and could have gone either way. I feel disappointed…and I feel proud. It was sheer bad luck that we conceded…But we have to focus on the bigger picture on Wednesday, when we have a tasking game to play.’

Ben Davies said: ‘…We’re disappointed in ourselves as much as anything. That goal is so unlike us, we don’t really concede sloppy goals like that and they didn’t have to do anything special to break us down, that’s the disappointing thing.’

Dele admitted he felt like kicking himself for missing a good chance to score, but adds that it happens sometimes in football. He got a good pass from teammate Christian Eriksen and made it against three but mistakenly touched the ball wide at close range.

‘If I had such a chance 10 times, I’d score most of the time – if not all. But that’s football,’ he lamented.

The England international continued: ‘All I could think in my head was to make contact and get the ball in the net. Then, it hit the top of my foot and went wide.

‘I’m kicking myself. I should have scored and I have to make sure the next time I get a chance like that I stick it away. It’s disappointing when you come to a place like this, you play well and you are hoping for a win or at least a draw.

‘We felt we should have won really and to go to United and think you should have won shows where we are as a team.’

Spurs will play their next two big games against Real Madrid and Palace. Their first-leg UEFA Champions League match against Los Blancos ended 1-1 a fortnight ago, and both teams will clash again on Wednesday at Wembley.

Notwithstanding the loss, Dele showed optimism and faith in his team, saying: ‘We don’t just want to compete, we want to win and as a team, we’re frustrated but now we have two big games coming up, Real Madrid and Palace so it’s important we learn from this, work on what’s gone wrong and keep building as a team because we’re still in a fantastic position and we’ve been in good form, so we can’t let this knock us back.’

The English Premier League has no comparison in world football – Pochettino tells Pep Guardiola

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has made claims that the English Premier League is unarguably the world’s best.

Pochettino’s statements came as a backdrop to Pep Guardiola‘s rants after his team, Manchester City, narrowly escaped with a 2-1 win against Burnley, who were awarded a “controversial” penalty.

The Tottenham coach warned his Premier League rival that there’s so much to learn, pointing out that the EPL is completely different to any other world football competitions.

Guardiola, who arrived City from Barcelona on 1 February 2016, is struggling with life as an EPL manager, and has made claims that “the FA has different rules”. His anger was aroused after a City player was red-carded in the match against Burnley.

Read: Pep Guardiola Believes Manchester City Can Break The Anfield Jinx.

Pochettino told a Spanish news outlet: “When you come to a different environment it is not easy, the Premier League is totally different.

“Until you are here, and you live in it, you do not realize what it is really like,” the 44-year-old added.

Read: Samuel Eto’o: Pep Guardiola Is The World’s Best Coach.

Pochettino, a former Argentina international footballer who played as a central defender, continued in his explanations: “Sometimes people underestimate the English league, they think that here everyone just plays long ball, that there is no quality, that every Wednesday the players have the day off. But those days are over.

“I have been in this country four years and never seen this,” he noted, having arrived England after managing a Spanish football club Espanyol (2009-2012) and Southampton (2013-2014).

Read: Pep Guardiola’s Secret To Success Revealed By Former Manchester City Player Samir Nasri.

Image shows Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino as managers in La Liga.

Though Pochettino suffered in his first experience as a Premier League manager, just like Guardiola, the Argentine says it takes humility and perseverance to make it in England.

Poch advised Guardiola: “If you come here and don’t have the humility to know that you must work, you can be disappointed.

“Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world and it is normal that he needs time to settle in and get across his ideas.”

Tottenham Hotspur, currently #3 in the league table, won their 4 January match against Chelsea, who remain league leaders with 49 points.

Revealed: Why Tottenham Signed Moussa Sissoko.

Tottenham  boss Mauricio Pochettino signed former Newcastle United player Moussa Sissoko on August 31, 2016 [summer deadline day] for a reported £30million transfer fee.


Image: Moussa Sissoko

The surprise deal came at the last minute when speculations had favored Everton as the Frenchman’s best move.

However, Mauricio has confirmed his reasons for the unexpected nervy decision to gamble on Sissoko, after a disappointing £12million bid for Wilfried Zaha on Monday.

The reason? Oops! He said the Euro 2016 star has pace, pace, pace–adding that “pace” scares teams. Pochettino wanted a player who could give his team an extra edge by running in behind. Zaha has the quality but since Spurs failed to land the player, they felt even happier after realizing Sissoko was up for grabs.

In his words: “We need a player who is more direct, more aggressive offensively,” Pochettino revealed.

“Because we have players like Eriksen, [Heung-Min] Son or Lamela who like the ball played into their feet. So we need someone who has characteristics like we saw from Liverpool, like Sadio Mané, the type of player that can break the defensive line.

“I’m not talking about kicking or punching someone, only running and having the right mentality.”