Mauricio Pochettino has outlined his “most important” managerial vision amid the Paris Saint-Germain boss’ links with Manchester United.
The Argentine initially turned heads as a coach with Southampton in the Premier League. However, he only lasted a season and a half there before Tottenham snapped him up.
And it is at Spurs where his profile grew and established across Europe. While he failed to win any trophies there, he led the club to the Champions League final and close to the Premier League title.
Still, Tottenham then dipped and Pochettino paid the price with his sacking. He subsequently spent over a year out of management before moving to PSG in January 2021.
Nevertheless, there is talk of him moving again – this time back to the Premier League with Man Utd. The Red Devils are looking to replace interim manager Ralf Rangnick and Pochettino is supposedly a firm candidate.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport‘s Between the Lines series, Pochettino outlined his vision when stepping into any new club amid the talk of a move to Old Trafford.
“When you arrive at a club, a new club, it is always about agreeing things and trying to decide the best strategy to arrive where you want,” the 50-year-old said.
“I’m always building knowing the culture of the club. Knowing how the fans love football, how the history of the club makes them who they are. All this is really important.
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“Of course it’s important to stick with your ideas, but I think to arrive at a club like Tottenham was to respect the history of the club, respecting the taste of the fans and the culture.
“That I think is the most important thing to start to build what you want. After, you can change small things that make you feel that you are part of the history and philosophy and ideas that you want to decide.
“For me, the most important thing is to bring philosophy and tradition together when you arrive rather than to change everything and say ‘that is the main idea and if you don’t stick with this, it’s impossible to win’.”
United have faced criticism for the running of the club under recently-departed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
A recent restructuring of the club has seen Richard Arnold come in as chief executive. John Murtough is now football director, working with technical director Darren Fletcher. From this summer, Rangnick will advise club officials in a consultancy role for two years.
Ex-Premier League boss makes Tottenham pledge
Amid the links with Man Utd, though, Pochettino has insisted that he will always have a special affinity with Tottenham.
He said of his time at Spurs: “For me, it was an amazing journey, amazing time. I still feel that it’s my club, my place.
“I think when you really feel with the commitment and when you feel the people give everything to try to be successful, and they treat you really, really good how they treat us, it’s impossible to forget that.
“That is why I think Tottenham is always going to be a special club for me.”
Pochettino watching Man Utd, Spurs battle
Pochettino has his own battles to focus on before he leaves PSG, chiefly guiding the club to their first Champions League title.
However, he will be watching on amid the battle between Tottenham and Man Utd for a top-four Premier League finish.
United, in fifth, are two points ahead of Spurs as it stands. But, the two sides face off in a crunch Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Tottenham also have two games in hand on United, including against fourth-placed Arsenal.
As for Pochettino’s own domestic ambitions with PSG, the French giants are cruising to Ligue 1 triumph.