It took a while for them to start trickling in, but in the wake of Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking, Tottenham Hotspur players began to react on social media, which is, let’s face it, the only real place where they can put their genuine thoughts out for public consumption.
Pochettino may (or may not) have lost the dressing room, but he was still deeply appreciated, especially by the players to whom he gave their chance to become star footballers over the past five years.
The first person to post, near as I can tell, was Dele, who tweeted within an hour of Pochettino’s firing.
I can’t thank this man enough. He’s taught me so much and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for me. Good luck and hope to see you again my friend. pic.twitter.com/dUO6AJlMxR— Dele (@dele_official) November 19, 2019
Over on Instagram, Harry Winks posted his own soliloquy to Pochettino.
View this post on Instagram
Gaffer I will be forever grateful for the faith and trust you placed in me. You gave me my opportunity to achieve my dream of playing for our great club. Thank you for all the things you have taught me both as a player and as a man. Wishing you the very best of luck for the future. Thank you!
Harry Kane posted a heartfelt open letter to Poch, one that should tug on the heartstrings of anyone who reads it. Kane, along with Dele, probably gained the most during Pochettino’s tenure, as he was the one who elevated both of them from the academy (in Kane’s case) or lower-league football (in Dele’s).
Gaffer. I’ll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams. We’ve had some amazing moments in the last 5 and a half years that I will never forget. You were my manager but my friend as well and I thank you for that relationship. Good luck with your next chapter! pic.twitter.com/u64RXV7wd4— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 20, 2019
Son Heung-Min was equally grateful for Pochettino’s tenure at the club, further solidifying Sonny’s reputation for being the nicest man in football.
Ben Davies didn’t post directly, but gave quotes to the media after Wales’ 2-0 EURO 2020 qualifying win today, and he managed to simultaneously thank Pochettino and have a spectacular (and inadvertent?) self-own.
Ben Davies on Mauricio Pochettino getting the sack at Tottenham.— Phil Cadden (@pjcadden) November 19, 2019
“I didn't know until after the game. I was very shocked. But I'd like to put on record, it's been amazing to work with him for the last five years and I'm sure he will go onto bigger and better things."
Pochettino, for his sake, is not on social media. But Jesus Perez is, and he posted a farewell tweet to Spurs fans in a way that’s making me tear up again, thanks Jesus.
More of these will invariably come out over the coming hours and days, as the players continue to process the departure of Pochettino and the appointment of Jose Mourinho.