Well. “News” might be stretching it a bit.
It all started, as it so often does, with an article in the Spanish sports media. Spanish daily SPORT reported today that Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was photographed having lunch with the President of FC Barcelona Josep Bartomeu a few days ago at a restaurant in the heart of Barcelona. This all happened at a time when Spurs are on an international break and Barca is looking for its next manager.
As you can imagine, Tottenham social media lots its godd--n mind. Speculation ran rampant: Why is Pochettino in Barcelona? Why is he meeting with the president of Barca? Oh GOD is he going to Barca this summer? Are they selling Eriksen? They might be selling Eriksen No wait is he really leaving OH GOD he’s totally leaving Spurs for Barca this summer. [sets hair on fire]
The article doesn’t exactly try and find reasons for Bartomeu and Pochettino to be meeting other than nefarious managerial poaching, which is, y’know, part for the course for SPORT. But, it turns out that it’s a lot less sordid than that. Enter our good friend Lyall Thomas!
Furthermore, told the two candidates Barca are considering are current assistant JC Unzue and Bilbao boss Valverde.— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) March 24, 2017
And, lest we think there was anything nefarious going on, here’s ESPN’s Dan Kilpatrick.
#thfc Pochettino and Bartomeu are friends and Spurs say they knew about their meeting in Barcelona a few days ago.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) March 24, 2017
Pochettino, who is a popular guy with deep ties to Spain and Spanish football, knows Bartomeu, ran into him while on holiday, and decided to have lunch with him. Was the Barcelona job discussed? Maybe. Was Pochettino being wined and dined? Almost certainly not.
It’s a sign of the affection that Spurs fans have for Pochettino and the job he’s done at North London that we (collectively) are going to flip out whenever there’s a link to his departure. That’s good, because it means we’ve got one of the best young coaches in the game right now. That’s bad because it means that the constant links to Poch’s departure will never, ever go away.
Two things I’ve learned today:
- Sometimes a lunch is just a lunch.
- The Spanish media sucks donkey balls.