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  • By Matthew Ferris at Cobham Training Ground

Poch on Spurs return: For me it is going to be a happy day

Mauricio Pochettino Picture by Paul Lagsn
Mauricio Pochettino Picture by Paul Lagsn

By Matthew Ferris at Cobham

Mauricio Pochettino was thoughtful and honest about his emotions in the press conference ahead of a return to his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, on Monday night.


Naturally, the questions centered around the Argentine’s connection to a club that he spent almost six seasons with, overseeing their move to a new stadium and most notably reaching the Champions League final in 2019.


Pochettino said about Tottenham: “We have amazing memories…I think it is special I cannot lie.”


After being sacked in 2019, he was unable to say goodbye to the club in a definitive manner.


It was an ending that whilst is a common part of football, wasstill difficult to take for a manager that had built a genuine connection with the fans and group of players that included the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane.


“It was a difficult situation, but now it is an opportunity to come back and see people that are still working there.”


He refused to predict whether he would receive a good reception from the Tottenham fans on Monday but said that: “the most important thing is that the people know we cannot forget all that we lived (experienced) together.”


Chelsea’s fierce rivalry with Tottenham undoubtedly added to the intrigue that surrounded how Pochettino would choose to speak about his old club.


Whilst many Chelsea fans may gape at the thought of their manager speaking so affectionately about their closest rivals, Pochettino’s comments reflect the fact he is just four months into his spell as Chelsea manager, and still in the early days of building his relationship with the club.


He was adamant that he could not forget the past, and about the match, said: “it’s not going to change my emotions about a club that we spent an unbelievable time at.”


The Chelsea manager also spoke well of his former Chairman, Daniel Levy, adding that: “Levy’s one of the most important people for me because he gave the opportunity for me and my staff to be at Tottenham.”

He further spoke of not only the professional relationship, but the friendly one they now have.


Pochettino’s fond memories of his time at Tottenham were evident, and he was wary of any questions that could have led to him antagonizing the Tottenham supporters.


When asked what it would mean to win on Monday, he said: “For me it is going to be a happy day, but you know that is life and we need to move on. We are professionals in football.”


“At the same time, we are human, we are personal, and we feel normally.”


Pochettino’s willingness to acknowledge the past whilst accepting that it is time to move on should be a sign of encouragement for Chelsea fans; a long-term project is underway, and Pochettino is well aware that they are in a process of building for the future.


There has been a constant struggle for the past year at Chelsea to maintain both confidence and results, and Pochettino’s tenure so far has been no different as his young squad continues their search for consistency in performances.


The defeat to Brentford put a halt to suggestions that they had escaped their slump completely, and whilst victory against Blackburn lifted the spirits, facing the unbeaten Premier League leaders poses a different scale of challenge.


Although Pochettino has done his very best to put any narrative of bad blood between him and his former club to bed, he will understand that a win on Monday will go a long way to winning over any Chelsea fans with doubts over his ability to oversee the long-term project at the club.







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