Mauricio Pochettino

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How would Pochettino change Man United?

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After another humbling defeat for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is officially on the hot seat at Old Trafford.

He is over 12 months into the job and although United have shown flashes of brilliance in wins against some of the six this season, there is a lot of inconsistency.

The Norwegian coach admitted their first half display in the 3-1 home defeat in the League Cup semifinal first leg against Man City was the “worst they’ve played all season” and that there is “no quick fix” to turn things around.

Maybe the quickest fix is to hire a new manager?

Mauricio Pochettino is currently sitting around twiddling his thumbs as the man long expected to take charge of Man United is being touted by many fans of the Red Devils to replace Solskjaer before the end of this season.

But if Ed Woodward and the hierarchy continue to make mistakes at the top of the club, is hiring a new manager actually going to make that much of a difference?

Here’s a three-point plan for how Pochettino would implement change at United, if he’s given the chance:

1. Youth over everything: Solskjaer is big on young players and United have a lot of them coming through. What they need is a coach who has a track record of not only finding young players but developing them. Pochettino ticks that box as he showed at Southampton and Tottenham. It’s all well and good chucking young, talented players into the team but how do they keep getting better? Poch is a master at keeping youngsters hungry.

2. More demanding of hierarchy: There’s a sense that Solskjaer has always been part of the furniture at United. From his lengthy spell at Old Trafford as a player and cult hero to his years spent coaching the reserve team, Solskjaer is a club man through  and through. That hurts him when it comes to being forceful with Woodward and others. If Solskjaer isn’t happy with the transfer budget or contract negotiations with a star player, is he really going to kick off at Woodward and Co.? Probably not. Pochettino built a very good relationship with Daniel Levy, the roughest chairman in the PL, and the fact he was at Tottenham for over five years suggests he is used to getting what he wants even when the odds are staked against him. His biggest job would be to allow Woodward and Co. to let him focus solely on the soccer side of things and let him crack on with getting rid of players who aren’t up to his standards. Poch is a ruthless operator and Solskjaer doesn’t seem to be. At all.

3. Build on Solskjaer’s platform: When all is said and done, Solskjaer has done a decent job to steady the ship over the last 12 months. Nothing more, nothing less. He has introduced young players to the team, started to build a new direct playing style the fans love (especially when it works) and he’s started to address their defensive issues with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire bought for big bucks. Pochettino would be the man to tweak things slightly, not break it all up, and he would provide the next logical step in United’s development. Just like the Argentine coach kicked things on at Spurs after Tim Sherwood gave Harry Kane and others their debuts, Pochettino can use his motivation skills to get the most of this young United squad.

Pochettino ready to return after Tottenham exit

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DOHA, Qatar — Fired by Tottenham despite reaching a Champions League final, Mauricio Pochettino said he is adapting to the growing instability of management as he relaxes, re-energizes and eyes a new club.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

In his first interview since being replaced by Jose Mourinho last month, Pochettino reflected on the challenge to ensure Tottenham competed at the top of the Premier League for a sustained period for the first time.

“Five-and-a-half years, that was so, so, so tough,” Pochettino told The Associated Press on Saturday. “The journey was amazing. I don’t need to talk about what happened only that it was an honor for me to be at Tottenham.”

After top-four finishes in four consecutive seasons — and reaching June’s European final despite spending nothing on players last season — Pochettino was dismissed with Tottenham 14th in the Premier League.

It was a ruthless decision by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in a bid to halt the decline, reflecting how hard it is to stay as long as Pochettino in any managerial job. Unai Emery followed Pochettino out of north London rival Arsenal 10 days later.

“You need a result today, it’s not important what happened the past,” Pochettino said. “But for us and for the fans, of course, it is so important what happened in the past.

“But, yes, we need to accept that this is a different football, a different business, and we need to adapt today because young men, coaches that we need to adapt to a work for the company, need to accept that new era of football.”

The Argentine was speaking to the AP at the Club World Cup where he could have been coaching had Tottenham not lost to Liverpool in the Champions League final.

“Five-and-a-half years working in Tottenham was a very enjoyable time, a very nice journey and I only keep good memories,” Pochettino said. “I think what happened in the past, happened in the past and now moving on is the best for everyone. That is happening in life and happening in football.”

Reduced job security does open up opportunities for out-of-work coaches like Pochettino.

“We know very well how our job is,” Pochettino said. “In the last 10 years you see a little how it’s changed and … it’s unbelievable. But that is our job and we accept that.”

However much he has enjoyed returning to visit family and friends in Argentina, Pochettino does not want a prolonged period out of the game.

“I tried to enjoy relaxing, tried to recharge the batteries,” Pochettino said. “This type of thing helps us to again to feel all the energy. We’ll see what happens. I am a person that is always open to listen to people. And of course, we’ll see about the future.

“But at the moment, I only try to get relaxed, spend time with my friends, my family, the things that before were impossible to do. And we’ll see. Football is going to find a way to put us into the race again.” Pochettino would manage another English club, despite his deep affinity to Tottenham.

“In football you never know what can happen in the future. you need to be only free and open to listen and anything can happen,” Pochettino said. “I am a coach and I would love to be in in the best place that you can.

“Now is a moment to recharge the batteries. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. But it’s not only the Premier League, there are a lot of leagues in the world that can be exciting or a very good challenge.”

One lingering uncertainty is whether Pochettino will get to keep the Bentley given to him by Levy as an appreciation of his loyalty to Tottenham in 2016.

“I don’t know. I need to ask him,” Pochettino said. “At the moment it is in my house and … I will see in a few months if it was a present or it was only to say, `You use the car and when you will not be here you return the car.’

“I don’t know you need to ask Daniel not me. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

Mauricio Pochettino: I am ready to return

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Mauricio Pochettino has only been out of work for two weeks, but he is ready to return.

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The Argentine coach has been back in his homeland after being fired by Tottenham Hotspur and he’s been speaking to media there, as he revealed he will return to London soon and his plan is to work in Europe.

Speaking to Fox Sports Argentina on a visit to his former club Newell’s Old Boys, Pochettino revealed he has already received “attractive offers” to return to work.

“There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on. For the time being, the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham. My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back,” Pochettino said. “It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. It is hard for me to imagine a project in Argentina. However, for the sake of my family, I would not refuse to work over here. But now I need to be calm for a few days and see what happens. I haven’t had a lot of time to digest what has happened with me.”

Pochettino then revealed that he will be back in the game the sooner the better, as he doesn’t expect to be out of a job for long.

“My first decision was to come back to Argentina, return to my home and see family and friends. My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for 10 days. But I expect to return to Europe to make decisions on my future. At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me,” Pochettino added.

I wonder which jobs in Europe would be available for Poch when he returns…

Both Arsenal and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Pochettino, but there are question marks over the former considering his links to Tottenham and Ole Gunnar Solskajer is still in charge of the latter.

But Pochettino is playing this the right way.

He’s removed himself from the hustle and bustle of Europe and is watching things from afar. With PSG, Bayern Munich, Man United and Arsenal all linked with the former Espanyol, Southampton and Spurs coach, he will not be short of offers in the immediate future. The major problem is that any club hiring Pochettino will actually have to negotiate with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to pay compensation if he returns before the end of this season.

This could complicate things but although Pochettino has been very quiet since he was fired by Tottenham, you get the sense he will be back in the news very quickly.

These comments suggest he is itching to get back in the dugout and are as close to a ‘come and get me’ plea as you can get.

Who are the favorites to replace Emery at Arsenal?

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Following news of Unai Emery’s firing as Arsenal manager, the club announced that its search for a new manager is already underway.

[ MORE: Unai Emery fired by Arsenal ]

With the Gunners set to face Norwich City in Premier League action on Sunday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), interim manager Freddie Ljungberg is almost certain to take charge of at least one game before Emery’s successor takes the reins.

According to reports, Arsenal had previously contacted Jose Mourinho as a potential replacement for Emery, in the event they decided to make a change. Following Mourinho’s appointment as new Tottenham Hotspur boss a week ago, some figures at Arsenal are said to be upset at missing out on the Portuguese.

[ MORE: Emery: “We are better than we are showing” ]

Below is a look at the current bookmakers’ favorites to replace Emery at Arsenal, listed in the order of who is favorite.

  • Massimiliano Allegri (unemployed) – The clear-cut favorite, at almost even odds. The thinking here would be that Allegri is a proven winner (five Serie A titles and four Italian Cups at Juventus), but so was Emery when he was hired (three straight Europa League titles). He’s been out of a job since leaving Juve at the end of last season and has been linked with every major managerial job since then.
  • Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – Unlike Allegri, Santo is a proven PL manager, only he comes without the same (read: any) winning pedigree of the Italian. After guiding Wolves to the EFL Championship title in 2018, he then took them to a seventh-place finish (and UEL qualification) in the PL last season.
  • Mikel Arteta (Manchester City, assistant) – Previously an Arsenal player (2011-2016) and now an assistant under Pep Guardiola, Arteta has been linked with a number of high-profile jobs in the last two years, including Arsenal back when Emery was hired. For him, it’ll likely hinge upon the succession plan at Man City: Guardiola never stays at one club for too long, so does Arteta believe he’ll be given a chance to take over?
  • Mauricio Pochettino (unemployed) – Pochettino has long since claimed he will never manage two clubs — Barcelona and Arsenal — out of principle after managing rivals Espanyol and Tottenham Hotspur. Alas, the bookmakers can’t help themselves from stirring the pot in north London.
  • Rafael Benitez  (Dalian Yifang) – Potentially a very sensible, if slightly underwhelming, option. Reports have him leaving China very soon, at the end of the Chinese Super League season. If nothing else, Benitez would get Arsenal defending and make them highly functional, if lacking the kind of flair that fans have come to expect.
  • Carlo Ancelotti (Napoli) – Somewhat out of left field, but potentially available for no compensation after a rough start to his second season at Napoli (seventh place, 15 points back of leaders Juve).
  • Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) – Forever tabbed a long-odds option, because the bookmakers need an English name to add to the list.

Mauricio Pochettino releases statement after Tottenham exit

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Mauricio Pochettino has spoken for the first time about his firing by Tottenham Hotspur.

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The Argentine coach, who spent five-and-a-half years in charge of Spurs, released a statement via the League Managers Association (LMA).

“I would like to thank Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy for giving me the opportunity to be part of Tottenham Hotspur’s history. I would like to thank also everyone I met at Tottenham, all the club staff and the football players during these five and a half years.

“Finally I would like to give a special mention to the fans who make this club so great with their fantastic support. I gave the best of me to accomplish the objectives I was asked for in our first meeting. There were equally tough challenges as exciting success. Best wishes for the future, I am sure we will cross paths again.”

Pochettino left an emotional message to his players on a tactics board following his firing and Jose Mourinho’s hiring last week, but these are his first public words about his exit at Tottenham.

He’s spot on when talking about accomplishing the objectives, as Spurs finished in the top four in each of the last four seasons, reached the League Cup final and UEFA Champions League final and developed a clear playing style with young, hungry players.

We all know Pochettino didn’t win any trophies at Tottenham as their 11-year wait for silverware goes on.

But he left with the best wishes of everyone connected with the club and will always be welcome back.

Pochettino will land one of the biggest jobs in world soccer when he does return and maybe that’s when we will hear a little more about exactly what went down in the final months at Tottenham.