Tottenham: Pochettino on future ambitions; No panic over contract talks; defender ruled out again
Tottenham have a splendid crop of players, but manager Mauricio Pochettino is arguably the club’s greatest asset. Imagining life without the former Southampton coach must be a scary thought for Spurs fans, and Pochettino has been speaking about his goals for the future and teams he would like to manage. A return to PSG, whose shirt he wore as a player, has been mooted in the past and he has made no secret of his affection for the French club in the past. However, speaking to ESPN Argentina, the Spurs manager admitted he would one day like to return to his homeland; possibly managing the national team. Pochettino said:
“If I come back to Argentina, I would like to coach Newell’s Old Boys (his first club) or the Argentine national team.
“In this, I do not change. And then, I don’t know where football will take me.”
Pochettino’s presence at White Hart Lane is especially important with the stadium move just around the corner, a process in which funds can be tight. Daniel Levy imposes a fairly strict wage structure, with no Spurs player earning in excess of £100,000 per week. Having a manager who is happy to work under such restrictions is a blessing, especially in an era when fans demand instant success. Pochettino is happy to work with the players at his disposal and cut his cloth accordingly through work on the training pitch. In the frenzy to spend money and buy new players, the craft of pure coaching has become an undervalued virtue. All the while Pochettino is at Spurs, they have a coach who is the equal of any in the Premier League.
Elsewhere, Pochettino has also been speaking about Harry Kane’s and Hugo Lloris’ contract situation. The pair have not signed fresh deals despite several of their teammates doing so earlier in the season, and there have been rumours that both are angling for more money that Levy is prepared to grant them. The France international’s deal expires in 2019 while Kane’s runs out in 2020; so the situation is not quite urgent. Once the contracts get below the two-year mark, the club starts to face a decision because once a player is in the final year of his contract they risk losing him for free. Pochettino said:
“Maybe there are a lot of rumours that can affect our fans but the fans need to have no worries because the players show their commitment to the club – they want to be here for the long term.
“I think the club and the players are talking about maybe improving or having extended contracts. In the future I think it’s not a big problem to do.”
Finally, defender Toby Alderweireld hasn’t recovered in time to face West Ham tomorrow and faces another game on the sidelines. The Belgium international has been out injured since an awkward landing at West Brom last month caused his knee to buckle which has led to nerve damage. Alderweireld has been a pivotal player for Spurs since joining the club in the summer of 2015, and Pochettino will be keen to avoid worsening the problem by bringing him back too soon.
Featured image: All rights reserved by James Harris