Pochettino deserves 'respect' on Spurs return says Postecoglou

AFP , Thursday 2 Nov 2023

Ange Postecoglou has called for Tottenham fans to show respect to Mauricio Pochettino when he returns to his former club with Chelsea on Monday.

Chelsea s Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Brentford at Stamford Bridge in London on October 28, 2023. AP


Blues boss Pochettino will be back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since his sacking in 2019.

The Argentine enjoyed a largely successful five-year spell with Tottenham and guided them to their first Champions League final just months before his dismissal by chairman Daniel Levy.

When Tottenham were looking for a new manager in the close-season, Pochettino was linked with a return to the club after his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.

But Tottenham hired Postecoglou from Celtic and Pochettino opted to join his old team's London rivals, raising the possibility that Spurs fans will give the 51-year-old a hostile reception.

However, Postecoglou hopes Pochettino is afforded a show of respect from the stands.

"Look, it is undoubted that he had an unbelievable impact on this football club," he told reporters on Thursday.

"He almost took the club to the ultimate summit of the Champions League, got close to the league, so his work is unquestioned.

"Everyone I speak to around here, there are still people who worked with him, they can't speak highly enough of him as a person and as a manager.

"I doubt there will be anything but respect for Mauricio from anyone at this football club, supporters or people associated, but it doesn't mean he will get a guard of honour on Monday night because we want to win.

"I don't think he would expect that, but his tenure here and impact here is undeniable and will stand the test of time."

Postecoglou has made a flying start at Tottenham, leading his unbeaten side to the top of the Premier League with eight wins from 10 games.

In stark contrast to the Australian's instant impact, Pochettino has suffered plenty of teething problems at Chelsea.

Despite spending more than £350 million ($425 million) on new signings during the close-season, Pochettino's injury-hit team are languishing in 11th place after only three league wins.

Asked to assess Pochettino's predicament, Postecoglou offered support for the Argentine.

"What I know is you don't really know what challenges exist until you're in it," he said.

"What I have to deal with and what Mauricio has to deal with are probably very, very different, but in essence what we are trying to do is the same thing: build a team that we believe can bring success.

"You look at Mauricio's track record and I've got no doubt he'll get Chelsea on the right path, I've no doubt about that."

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