EPL

Bielsa backs Pochettino to land top job after 'brilliant' Tottenham work

By Sports Desk November 21, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino will get the chance to take charge of one of the best teams in the world due to his efforts at Tottenham, Marcelo Bielsa says.

Spurs sacked Pochettino this week after just five wins in 17 matches in all competitions this season and replaced him with former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

The 47-year-old's departure came less than six months after he led Spurs to their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool.

Bielsa, who coached Pochettino as a young player at Newell's Old Boys and has been credited with influencing his post-playing career, says reaching that final showed just how well the Spurs side had been constructed even in a season in which no players were signed.

Bielsa now expects Pochettino to be given a chance by one of the world's top clubs.

"I'm going to talk, not about the relationship I have with Pochettino, but for what I have observed in English football," the Leeds United boss said on Thursday.

"The work Pochettino has done is brilliant. In the last year, he put Tottenham in a high level in the world. For any coach, it's a very important achievement. For Pochettino, I think it's even more important because the team that played in the Champions League last year was a team he built very carefully.

"The performance of this team was more linked by collective play rather than top players being bought for them. They didn't buy big players to achieve this. This reality makes Pochettino's work even more important.

"People who work professionally like that earn absolutely deserved credit. Maybe he couldn't enjoy this credit at Tottenham. But he will take this credit and big teams in the world will look to capitalise on it.

"For sure, he is a manager who will lead one of the best teams in the world. He made Tottenham one of the most important teams in the world.

"I have a lot of affection and respect for Mauricio. When something that is not good happens to him, I can't ignore it. If we look at the close effect of the situation, we can be sad. I feel sad.

"But in 15 days, he'll be at the top again, because when you see things from a distance, without looking at recent facts, then you can realise what you've really achieved.

"Now, he leaves a team that is attractive to Mourinho – that has a lot of value. The next team who take him will express again the respect Pochettino has created."

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    The 22-year-old sealed his switch Spurs on Wednesday on a five-and-a-half-year contract in a deal reportedly worth around £27million.

    Netherlands international Bergwijn has set himself ambitious goals as well as discussing the significance Mourinho had to him as he watched the game growing up.

    "It's an amazing move for me, an amazing club," the winger, who will wear the number 23 shirt, said told Spurs TV.

    "Just look around the training ground, it's amazing. It's an honour to be here. 

    "I just spoke to the manager as well. When I was a young boy I looked up to a coach like Jose Mourinho, now I play for him.

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    "I look from day to day. I want to be a good player here, score goals, give assists. I want to win the Champions League. I watched last season, the team went so far, and I hope this season also."

    Spurs had already caught Bergwijn's eye last season when they got the better of PSV's rivals Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals.

    He added: "I loved to see that you beat Ajax! This a big club that plays good football and that's what I like.

    "You have to believe in yourself. I know what I can bring to this club and to this team, that's important. I will do what I can, and I know what I can do."

    Bergwijn thrived for PSV last season, scoring 14 Eredivisie goals and setting up another 12 as the team finished second to Ajax. He has added five goals and 10 assists from 16 league outings in 2019-20.

    Mourinho has already brought in Gedson Fernandes on loan with an option to buy this month and signed Giovani Lo Celso on a permanent deal on Tuesday after the sale of Christian Eriksen to Inter.

    Unbeaten in four games across all competitions, Spurs host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

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    The 22-year-old winger has signed a deal until 2025 having emerged as one of the Eredivisie's star players with PSV.

    Bergwijn enjoyed a particularly impressive season last term, scoring 14 Eredivisie goals and setting up another 12 as PSV finished second to Ajax.

    He had been strongly linked with a move away before the season started, with Bayern Munich and Sevilla said to be particularly keen, but no transfer materialised and he began the campaign with PSV.

    However, with Spurs having lost Christian Eriksen to Inter, the club have made a move to bolster their creative options with the gifted Bergwijn.

    Jose Mourinho has already brought in Gedson Fernandes on loan with an option to buy and signed Giovani Lo Celso on a pemanent deal as he seeks to guide Spurs to a top-four finish in the Premier League.

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    He had been strongly linked with a move away before the season started, with Bayern Munich and Sevilla said to be particularly keen, but no transfer materialised and he began the campaign with PSV.

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