Since Mauricio Pochettino led Tottenham Hotspur to third place in the table last season, he’s been continually linked with jobs at bigger European clubs. The most recent one was a link to the vacant Barcelona position, despite Pochettino repeatedly saying that his links to Espanyol precluded him ever managing the Catalonian giants.
That Barcelona link is now moot with the Barça choosing Ernesto Valverde as their new boss effective in June. But on the eve of Tottenham saying farewell to White Hart Lane, Pochettino has come out with his clearest statement yet: I’m not leaving Tottenham Hotspur anytime soon.
“When I signed here I understood the Tottenham project and Daniel Levy. We agreed and showed that we are not using Tottenham as a platform to sell ourselves. We showed from day one that we wanted to work in this project and we believed in this project.
“It is important to be honest with the person that signed you three years ago and invited you to a good project that you shared and agreed to. Now it is important to be loyal and try to work together to reach the next level.
“It is how we are. We are coaching staff that are people that enjoy working in this way. We love to help the club, try to reach the next level, develop young players and to build something special that doesn't exist in another club in the world.
“For us, it is unique. For the second consecutive season we are fighting for the title and competing with teams with completely different philosophies or ways. It is exciting for us and it is a unique project here in England. We are people that enjoy working in that way.”
Spurs are a win against Manchester United tomorrow away from securing second place in the table behind Chelsea, a feat that would be their highest ever finish in the Premier League and with their highest ever point total. Spurs are also just over a year away from opening their £800m state-of-the-art stadium that will put them on a much closer financial platform to their top four rivals.
That’s a super attractive place to be for a young manager like Pochettino. And while Poch has said that he would like to manage his old clubs PSG and Newell’s Old Boys, as well as the Argentine national team before the end of his career, it seems clear that he knows he’s in a great position.
Sunday is all about White Hart Lane, but Poche’s comments should help settle the nerves of a jittery Tottenham fan base that doesn’t want to lose its manager on top of its home of 118 years.