Southampton’s success in the Premier League this season is thanks to many things. The man orchestrating it all has rightly seen his stock rise considerably since last August.
Arriving in England in January 2012 with no previous experience as a player of coach in the PL, Mauricio Pochettino has taken the English top-flight by storm as his high-pressure, possession based and attacking soccer philosophy has impressed pundits, fans and other managers. He kept Saints up last season and now has them in eighth spot with five games to go.
Rumors linking the former Espanyol manager with Tottenham Hotspur, AS Monaco and even Real Madrid have surfaced, as Saints’ manager has only one more season left on his initial deal.
Speaking to reporters at the team’s training ground on Friday about the rumor,s Pochettino confirmed he is happy to stay on as a manger in the Premier League and will talk about a new deal with Saints at the end of the season. However, he came up short of confirming whether his long-term future in management will be with Southampton.
“In football I am very much accustomed to living with these rumors,” Pochettino said. “I have been living with and hearing these rumors all my life, firstly as a player and then as a manager. I am just calm. I am not reacting to these rumors. I am fully focused on the job ahead. My job ahead is these last five games of the season with Southampton to try and get as many points as we can. Tottenham still have a manager, I still have one more year on my contract, I don’t talk about rumors and I’m focused on this job.”
With Tim Sherwood’s situation at Spurs up in the air — the White Hart Lane outfit are rumored to be seeking a replacement for Sherwood this summer — people who love to connect dots are having a field day with this one. Pochettino has done a superb job to blood youth into Saints’ lineup, has impressive links in Spanish soccer and is respected by some of the globe’s best bosses. Plus he is Argentinian, which works in his favor as a potential Spurs boss as past greats Ricardo Villa and Osvaldo Ardiles are still revered around White Hart Lane.
That being said, Pochettino isn’t one for chatting about speculation. I’ve been in several of his press conferences, and whenever a rumor like this arrives, the former Argentine defender bats it away.
Rumors are rumors… Yet Southampton fans would love to hear Pochettino nailing his colors to the mast as he continues to mold the ambitious South Coast club into a team capable of challenging for a top six finish in the PL. If not, Spurs are plenty of other big clubs in need of a shake up could do a lot worse than looking to bring Pochettino on board.