Pochettino leaves Spurs to join Watford

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Watford have signed Maurizio Pochettino from Tottenham.

Pochettino, son of former Spurs and current Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, will join up with the Hornets' under-23 squad initially.

A 19-year-old winger, Pochettino played eight times this season for Tottenham in Premier League 2 but did not make a senior breakthrough at his father's old club.

Watford have had a busy weekend ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with former Everton and Newcastle United midfielder Dan Gosling joining from Championship counterparts Bournemouth and Spain international Gerard Deulofeu making his move to Udinese permanent.

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  • We will keep working: Gilbert says 1-5 loss to Chile a part of learning curve for new-look Reggae Girlz We will keep working: Gilbert says 1-5 loss to Chile a part of learning curve for new-look Reggae Girlz

    Though disappointed by their hefty defeat to Chile in their opening friendly contest, interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert maintain that his youthful senior Reggae Girlz outfit will learn from the setback, as he anticipates an improved performance in the second encounter on Tuesday.

    In fact, Gilbert is confident that the more his new-look team plays, the better the performances will be, as they continue to introduce and expose players to the senior programme, mainly due to the current standoff between the World Cup players and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

    The Chileans through goals from Michelle Olivares (12th), Maria Jose Urrutia (22nd), Yestin Jimenez (61st), Yenny Acuna (70th) and Paloma Duarte (88th), outclassed their Jamaican counterparts at the Juan Pinto Duran Stadium in Chile on Friday. Chinyelu Asher (77th) with her seventh international goal, pulled one back for the Jamaicans.

    “I don’t think we were good enough to be honest, we started off really shaky and allowed them too much space to play despite what we said we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to approach the game. We were a little bit tentative on the back foot and they exploited those areas that we left opened,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

    “We were much better in the second half, so we will look to build on that because it is a learning process, and so we will see how best we can carry that momentum over into the next game,” he added.

    Along with the lack of preparation heading into the games, Gilbert pointed out that niggling injuries also marred their performance, as a number of the college players are just getting back into season, while former Liverpool midfielder Jade Bailey is still gradually working her way back from a knee surgery.

    “It was difficult because some players are recovering from injury and some college players are just heading back into season, but it is what we have to work with, and we just have to put a better showing in the next game. The more we play oppositions like these, the better we will get. As I said before, this is new for a lot of them on the international stage, so the more we play, the more competitive we will be,” Gilbert reasoned.

    Still, with the next game scheduled for Tuesday, the veteran tactician is keen on using the remaining time in Chile to work on certain aspects of the team’s game, with hopes of conducting more intensive work when they next assemble for the April window.

    “But for now we are just going to recover and assess the game, look at where we went wrong and improve some things that we could have done better. There are some areas that needs more work than what we will be able to fix here, but we are going to ensure we have good defensive organisation,” Gilbert declared.

    “So, we are going to give a few other players some minutes to get back into fold and we are going to continue to work to make sure that defensively we are solid, and also tighten up on how we match up against opponents like these, so we should give a better account of ourselves in the next game,” he ended.

  • Valerien Ismael ‘comfortable’ about his position despite Watford’s defeat Valerien Ismael ‘comfortable’ about his position despite Watford’s defeat

    Valerien Ismael insists he remains “comfortable” about his position despite Huddersfield’s comeback 2-1 victory consigning his side to a seventh straight home league game without a win – with the Watford boss calling on his players to look at their own performance to find the root cause.

    The home fans made their displeasure abundantly clear as Watford struggled through the early going, prompting Ismael to make a pair of first-half substitutions.

    That had the desired effect, but only to a point, with Emmanuel Dennis smashing home the opener shortly after the break from Yaser Asprilla’s square ball.

    The hosts wasted a fleet of chances to kill the game off, repeatedly opening Huddersfield up only for their finishing to be found lacking, with Tom Ince particularly profligate against his former club.

    Huddersfield substitute Danny Ward punished that wastefulness, scoring twice to secure a vital win for the relegation-battling visitors.

    Ismael said: “After 20 minutes the feeling was we had to do something to have an impact.

    “I picked two players but I could have changed all 11 players. It was still 0-0 but a bad performance, and we spoke clearly to the players at half-time.

    “From 21 points at home now we’ve taken only two points. It’s a difficult situation to understand why it’s like that.

    “The performance was not there and that’s what we have to analyse and especially the players, because as a manager I’m responsible for the result, but the players are all responsible for their own performance.

    “They need to look inside themselves and give an answer to themselves about why they’re not performing as a team.

    “I am still comfortable where I am. I enjoy my work every day with the staff and I think the most important thing is we give everything. That’s what I do from early in the morning to late in the evening.

    “I would have been frustrated myself as a fan.”

    New Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter, meanwhile, hailed the determination his side showed to win in his first game in charge, with sub Ward heading in Yuta Nakayama’s excellent cross from the left before flicking home Tom Edwards’ low delivery from the right.

    That comeback win already looks vital for Huddersfield, who remain just two points outside the relegation zone but have also overtaken Stoke to move up a place to 19th.

    Breitenreiter said: “On the pitch and outside it, after Danny Ward scored [his first] we had the belief that we could win this game. This is what I want to see and what I like to see.

    “We played further to attack and to press high, and had the conviction to score again. The players, the team, they deserved to win this game, absolutely.

    “Celebrating the win after the game with the fans…they gave us a lot of good support and we have to really say thank you to them. It was absolutely fantastic watching smiling faces, from the supporters and from the players. I’m very happy.

    “I’ve collected so many impressions this week. Some things are different from Germany or Switzerland, but I like it because the mentality is very high. This is a really traditional stadium, and it was special – and it’s really good for me to start with a win.”

  • Danny Ward brace sees Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter make winning start Danny Ward brace sees Huddersfield boss Andre Breitenreiter make winning start

    Andre Breitenreiter got off to a winning start as Huddersfield boss thanks to Danny Ward’s brace from the bench, which gave the visitors a 2-1 victory after Emmanuel Dennis had opened the scoring for Watford.

    The German head coach started work with the Terriers on Tuesday after being unveiled as Darren Moore’s permanent replacement the previous week, and had acknowledged at his first press conference that the relegation-threatened club were in a “dangerous” position.

    Valerien Ismael’s Watford were meanwhile without a Championship win in six at Vicarage Road and desperate to generate some momentum for the final stretch of the season to prevent their faint play-off hopes from ebbing away altogether.

    Huddersfield had the better of the early going, with Delano Burgzorg and Josh Koroma both unleashing goalward efforts that needed deflecting wide – and only very narrowly, in Burgzorg’s case.

    Ismael evidently shared the fans’ extremely vocal frustration at his side’s inability to get out of their own half in the face of a tenacious high press, and made his first pair of substitutions as early as the 27th minute with Edo Kayembe and Ismael Kone hauled off for Giorgi Chakvetadze and former Huddersfield man Tom Ince.

    That produced the desired improvement in his side’s play, and they mustered their first shot on goal just after the half-hour as Mattie Pollock headed wide from a Ken Sema corner.

    Yaser Asprilla’s fabulous through ball later gave Ince the most clear-cut chance of the first half, but Lee Nicholls was equal to his first-time strike on goal.

    The goalkeeper had no chance the next time Watford threatened up the right, however, with Asprilla getting the better of Brodie Spencer to get into the box before squaring for Dennis to fire Watford ahead – virtually his last action of the game as he went off injured moments later.

    Watford should have put the game to bed twice within a few minutes of that opener, but neither Mileta Rajovic nor Ince capitalised on very presentable openings produced from left-wing crosses.

    Huddersfield punished that by showing them how it was done in the 71st minute, with centre-back Yuta Nakayama getting forward to cross for substitute Ward to head past former team-mate Ben Hamer, despite the goalkeeper getting a touch.

    Both sides wasted chances to go ahead with the score at 1-1, with Burgzorg failing to find an unmarked Ben Wiles at the end of a Huddersfield counter-attack and Ince again shooting off-target for Watford from Sema’s cross.

    But Ward showed great instincts once again to finally decide the game seven minutes from time, reacting fastest to get to Tom Edwards’ low cross and flick into the far bottom corner.

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