Since Jose Mourinho’s sacking earlier in the week there has inevitably been talk of who will permanently be the next manager at Manchester United after caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure ends next summer.
Everyone from Zinedine Zidane to Diego Simeone has been thrown in the hat. In Zidane’s case he is currently unattached to any club and after his immense success with Real Madrid could be the number 1 candidate, but not so… that vote of confidence has fallen to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Despite not winning a trophy for the North London club yet Pochettino has turned Spurs into genuine title contenders and changed the mentality of the club. One could argue that pound for pound Tottenham have been the best team in the Premier League for the past two seasons.
Now the Argentinian is being heavily linked to United and it does make sense. He has bags of experience in England, knows the Premier League inside out and his teams play positive attacking football, he’s also a great guy to be around. But the question that arises is do Manchester United need Pochettino more than he needs them?
There is no question that being offered the United job is a fantastic complement, but being offered it 5, 10, 15 years ago would have meant that there was no turning it down. But with time it feels that in 2018 United simply are not the same club anymore. After spending 26 years attached to Sir Alex Ferguson and one manager, the club have gone through 3 in five years. They feel like the also rans, yesterday’s team, perhaps even of an era changing. There is no question that the club will roar back but that could be 10 years or so away from now.
The knee jerk reaction when United or any of the big clubs come calling is to go, but Pochettino is in a unique position because he is already at a fantastic club- all that they are missing of course is the silverware to go with his tenure. Tottenham if the Gods persist will move into their brand new stadium early next year and the future does indeed look bright.
The only problem though could arise from Tottenham’s owner Daniel Levy being tight with the budget. The club have already infamously brought in no new players in the summer- although as it has turned out it hasn’t affected the club like it should have. But it must still be frustrating for the manager especially when he hinted last week that there would be no money to purchase new legs in January.
There is also the stark reminder of their neighbours Arsenal, who, after their big money move from Highbury to the Emirates went years without silverware and saw their best players leave as budgets were cut. Pochettino will have to weigh all of this up, and it could be the main reason he jumps ship. Levy needs to convince him to stay and offer him a decent budget on players for such a Premier League team.
Ultimately it would be unfortunate if he did decide to leave Spurs, because when the dust settles, it is plain to see that he doesn’t really need to leave, glory could be much closer to home than he thinks.