EPL

Pochettino hints next job will be in Premier League or LaLiga

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

Mauricio Pochettino has suggested his next coaching position will be in Spain or England as LaLiga and the Premier League are "the two best leagues in the world".

The former Tottenham boss, who was sacked in November and replaced by Jose Mourinho, was linked with the Barcelona job before Quique Setien was named Ernesto Valverde's successor.

Pochettino has been heavily linked with Manchester United during what has been an inconsistent season for the Red Devils under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 47-year-old certainly appears prepared to take another job in England's top flight, although he also admires LaLiga, where he began his senior coaching career with Espanyol.

He said at a LaLiga TV event: "For me, I was so lucky to start my career as a manager at Espanyol in Barcelona and then to come to the Premier League to learn a different language and culture and I am a better person today.

"I have more knowledge and had a great experience. The Premier League is the Premier League. Football was born here in England but I think LaLiga has amazing football and amazing coaches."

He added: "England and Spain are the two best leagues in the world."

Pochettino is reported to have been approached about the Barcelona job despite insisting previously he could never take charge at Camp Nou due to his ties with city rivals Espanyol.

With Setien now installed on a contract until June 2022, Pochettino admits he will be very interested to follow the former Real Betis coach's efforts.

"Barcelona, of course, are one of the greatest teams in the world. Of course, now with the new manager, everyone is expecting him to continue the same philosophy," he said.

"Valverde did a fantastic job in LaLiga and with Barcelona and it's a massive challenge for Quique Setien. He showed unbelievable love for Johan Cruyff and the style of football of Barcelona.

"I think it's a great opportunity for him to live his dream and it's so amazing to follow what's going to happen."

Related items

  • The only rule that works in VAR is offside - Hasenhuttl criticises Wenger's proposed change The only rule that works in VAR is offside - Hasenhuttl criticises Wenger's proposed change

    Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has strongly criticised Arsene Wenger's proposed change to how offside works in the VAR era.

    Former Arsenal manager Wenger, appointed chief of global football development at FIFA in November, said a tweak should be made after this season's implementation of VAR in the Premier League led to many goals being ruled out for marginal offsides.

    "There is room to change the rule and not say that a part of a player's nose is offside, so you are offside because you can score with that," Wenger said at the recent Laureus Sports Awards. 

    "Instead, you will not be offside if any part of the body that can score a goal is in line with the last defender, even if other parts of the attacker's body are in front. That will sort it out and you will no longer have decisions about millimetres and a fraction of the attacker being in front of the defensive line."

    According to Hasenhuttl, Wenger's idea would not solve any problems at all.

    "The only rule that really works in VAR is the offside," said Hasenhuttl.

    "And we want to change this? I don't know why. It's the only black-and-white decision which is always right or wrong. The rest is subjective.

    "If we change it the way he wants to do it, we can stop playing offside because it won't work anymore.

    "It will change the game massively in my opinion. The only thing that really works well at the moment is the decision about offside. And everything else we must discuss more."

    The body that governs football's global laws, the International Football Association Board, has ruled out an imminent change to the offside law, with its annual general meeting due to be held in Belfast on February 29.

  • Gattuso: Koulibaly a doubt for Barcelona Gattuso: Koulibaly a doubt for Barcelona

    Gennaro Gattuso has confirmed Napoli could be without key defender Kalidou Koulibaly for next week's Champions League game against Barcelona.

    Injuries have hampered the Senegal international this season and he has only played one Serie A match since the turn of the year.

    Napoli head to Brescia on Friday before hosting Barca four days later in the first leg of their last-16 tie with the LaLiga champions.

    And Gattuso, whose side have won five of their past six games in all competitions, is unsure whether Koulibaly will be available.

    "We'll need to objectively see what he has," Gattuso told reporters on Thursday. "He has swelling, so we need to listen to how he feels. 

    "Right now I have opted, together with the medical staff, to keep him sidelined for seven to 10 days.

    "We will evaluate after that how he feels physically. He will tell us how he feels."

    Napoli's improved form has lifted them to ninth in Serie A but they are 12 points behind fourth-placed Atalanta in the race for Champions League qualification.

    Gattuso is staying focused on the trip to second-bottom Brescia - with Koulibaly not included in the Napoli squad - rather than allowing the looming Barca game to act as a distraction.

    "I haven't heard anyone talk about Barcelona," Gattuso added. "We haven't prepared for Barcelona yet. We have prepared for the match against Brescia. We will think about Barcelona on Saturday after the analysis of the match against Brescia."

    Napoli striker Fernando Llorente will miss the Brescia game due to flu.

  • Willian eager to remain in London as Chelsea contract nears expiration Willian eager to remain in London as Chelsea contract nears expiration

    Willian has hinted he will look to find another London-based club to play for if he and Chelsea do not agree to a contract extension, as he is desperate to remain in the English capital for family reasons.

    Brazil winger Willian has been at Chelsea since 2013, when he joined from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, and he has been a first-team regular for most of his time at Stamford Bridge.

    Willian has played in all but one of Chelsea's 26 Premier League games this term, despite becoming a target for criticism from some supporters, with Frank Lampard seemingly trusting of the 31-year-old.

    He claimed in December that contract talks have taken place regarding an extension beyond the end of the season, but with an agreement yet to be confirmed, doubt remains about his future, particularly after Chelsea agreed a deal to bring Ajax's Hakim Ziyech to the club in July.

    While Willian seems set on staying at Chelsea, he is also adamant about a desire to remain in London, potentially offering hope to other clubs in the area should he ultimately depart.

    Writing in a column for The Players' Tribune, Willian said: "I have played for Chelsea for more than six years now, and I can honestly say that I am very happy here.

    "If you ask my wife if she wants to leave London, she'll say no. My daughters feel the same way. Of course, Brazil is Brazil, right? It's our home, our culture. We always feel good when we go there on holiday and see family and friends, but London is my second home.

    "In fact, I recently passed a British citizenship test. Man, it was hard. It's British history in a nutshell. Some questions are so difficult that not even some of my British friends knew the answers!

    "As it turned out, I failed on my first two attempts, but got it on the third. I am now a British citizen!

    "So, London is where I want to stay. This is where I have my family, my church. I want my daughters to grow up here."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.