An article on ESPN has described how Mauricio Pochettino has said he will strike a balance between football and business with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy when they decide the future of Toby Alderweireld.
The article describes how Levy told The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust (THST) that the club would not sell any players Pochettino wants to keep, but the pair will have to compromise where Alderweireld is concerned.
Contract negotiations between Toby and the club broke down last month over his demands for a long-term deal worth around £150,000-a-week, with Spurs unwilling to break their wage structure for a player who turns 29 this week.
It adds how we can trigger an option to extend Alderweireld’s current £50,000-a-week contract by a year to 2020 but that would activate a buyout clause allowing him to leave for just £25 million in summer 2019.
In an ideal world Toby wouldn’t be sold this summer, but the club may decide to sell him in the summer when he will still command a significant fee.
“We share the decisions, between Daniel, us and now Steve [Hitchen, chief scout]. Of course the last word is between us [Levy and myself],”:the Spurs manager said.
“If we disagree, it is like when you disagree with your wife or your girlfriend — you fight until one gets the final decision! We started on opposite sides and then we started to build our personal and professional relationships.
He added: “It’s about balance. As a man of football, sometimes between business and football decisions, you need to find the right balance. That is why we need to share every single decision on what happens in the club.”
Pochettino emphasised how both he and Levy make decisions to ensure Spurs remain “a successful company and successful in football,” adding: “The most important is to work like a team.
We play like a team on the pitch if we want to win. And outside [the pitch], you need to work like a team too. If Daniel takes his own decision, and it affects the changing room and the football, I think it’s not a good balance.
Pochettino added: “If I take decision, and don’t check with him, it’s going to affect his job. We are working all together on all the decisions.On my side, as a manager, I can say ‘I want this’ or ‘I don’t want this.’ But it can affect in the financial side. And if you take only decisions on the financial side, that can affect the football.”
Pochettino did say that his relationship with Levy was initially strained but said that after four years of working together at Spurs, they know each other’s “character and personality.”He said: “It is true from the beginning it was difficult because never is it easy until know you people, but after nearly four years he knows me and how I react in different circumstances. It is about knowing each other, Always we are going to take the decision that we believe is the best for the club, of course.”
Alderweireld’s relationship with the club has been further complicated by his return from a torn hamstring and tendon suffered against Real Madrid on Nov. 1st
He has been insisting he is fit to play since late January but Pochettino has so far included him only in the FA Cup games against lower-league Newport and Rochdale — a policy vindicated by the setback Alderweireld suffered in training last week.
Pochettino was at pains to explain again that being fit to play is different to being fit to “compete” and said: “Sometimes the people create an expectation and then we are the bad guys, when we say, ‘No, no, no, you cannot play.’
“It’s our responsibility and it’s impossible to explain everything. It’s just about being careful about the player because we want Toby 100 percent ready to play. And then it’s my decision to pick him. But if you have your best players at 100 percent it increases your level and he’s going to help.
He added: “But we don’t take our decisions based on public opinion. We are professional and when we take a decision, it’s because we have assessed and analysed, we have thought 100 times to try to take the best decision for the team and for the player.”
Asked if Alderweireld would be available for the Champions League match against Juventus next week, Pochettino said: “Look, he is still recovering. He is still not participating with the group. The answer is clear.”
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