Mauricio Pochettino has spoken out about the future of his managerial career amid links to Newcastle.
Mauricio Pochettino has stipulated that the next club he joins must be able to contend for trophies. The former Tottenham manager’s credentials have always been called into question by his critics, who feel his failure to land any sort of silverware during his five years at Tottenham points to a lack of winning instinct.
Having been runners up in the Champions League, the Premier League, the League Cup and twice reached the FA Cup semi-final, Pochettino now feels it is vital that he and his coaching staff take a team to the next level.
“That moment will arrive when we have to win a trophy,” he told Spanish football programme La Liga TV.
The Argentine has been linked with the manager’s job at Manchester United and is also favourite to take the reins at Newcastle if the planned Saudi takeover goes through.
But Mauricio Pochettino is adamant that the lack of silverware does not make his previous Premier League stints at Southampton and Spurs a failure.
“Society only recognises the one that wins a title and lifts it,” he said. “We are in this fight to try to do that. But we have lifted many trophies.
“When you leave a good impression with the people you worked with, helped people to progress or when people are proud to have worked with you – they are also trophies that must be celebrated.”
So successful has his style of football been, in fact, that he claims that others – including some of the game’s most celebrated coaches – have copied it.
“At Espanyol, we were the first coaching staff who started to teach exercises to bring the ball out from the back,” he claimed.
“Just watch any game from around 2010 and 2011, the ball is played out from the goal, when previously it was always hit long.
“We started with that, and many people are a bit surprised. Everyone talks of Barcelona, Madrid, Milan. No, no, it was Espanyol.”
Pochettino has been heavily linked to the Newcastle job in the recent weeks, with the north east club’s prospective £300million takeover casting doubt over Steve Bruce’s future.
Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra, however, believes the Magpies should pursue former boss Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard, who won the Champions League win with Liverpool, left St James’ Park at the end of last season and is now in China with Dalian Professional.
Chopra told the Daily Star: “I would go for Benitez over Pochettino.
“Pochettino built up Tottenham from pretty much nothing, got them to the Champions League final and on the verge of winning the Premier League.
“But the only thing going against him is he didn’t win anything – which puts me off a bit.
“With Benitez, he’s got unfinished business. He did well at the club and had a great relationship with the fans.
“He just wanted a bit more money to try and push them into the top 10.
“Benitez has already got plans for the football club and at almost every team he’s been at he’s won trophies.
“Newcastle are hard to manage because you have to get the fans on your side quickly – but Benitez managed to do exactly that.
“I’ve got friends who don’t enjoy it any more with Bruce trying to nick a 1-0.
“It’s not entertaining, it’s not football and it’s not Newcastle.”