Much of Mauricio Pochettino’s success is down to the loyalty he inspires from those around him, according to Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué.
He is often linked with moves to take over at some of the biggest clubs in world football after transforming us into serious contenders for the Premier League title in the three years he’s been at the club and Balagué is of the opinion that the loyalty factor one quality of Pochettino that shines through.
Balagué was given extensive behind-the-scenes access to Pochettino and his inner circle last season as he compiled his book ‘Brave New World – Inside Pochettino’s Spurs’ and he maili describes Poch as someone who embraces those in his presence with a little more care than most top level managers.
“His charm and the empathy he has with people are among his greatest qualities,” Balagué told news website Independent.ie. “He shows interest in people, not just for football reasons and at Southampton and now with Tottenham. As every one who works with him confirms, he has a closeness with you takes some getting used to in an English culture.
Balagué continued “In Spain, we are more used to this kind of behaviour, but in England they are used to managers keeping their distance from players and the staff. Pochettino is not like that at all.”
“This is not just his footballers we are talking about here. This desire to be personal extends to the press officers, the people working at the club.
Balagué added “This is a very natural personality for him. The fact that he touches people, he hugs people and kisses people on the cheeks, this is the person he is and he has managed to bring that personality in as a manager.
“Here is a manager who inspires a loyalty from those who work with him and once you develop this relationship with him, you want it to remain and I also feel a player wants to give him something back for the faith he has shown in him.
“Pochettino develops a persona of being a father figure to the players and if he disappears after a bad result, they miss his presence around them.”
Balagué added that Pochettino’s interest in his players continues long after they leave his squad, with a lot of his ex Southampton players still in regular contact with their old boss.
“You can see the loyalty he still commands from players who don’t work with him any more,” continues Balagué. “His old Southampton player Jay Rodriguez loves the man and I was getting texts on a regular basis from Adam Lallana asking when the book will be out because he was very keen to read it. Now he has read it and he messaged Pochettino about how he enjoyed it.
“Also, Luke Shaw gave me some very kind words about Pochettino after working with his at Southampton and he was very happy talk about a manager he admires so much.”
Balagué suggested that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could actually learn from the personal touch shown by Pochettino, with the sky Sports Spanish football expert suggesting the former Real Madrid manager has something of a split personality.
Balagué said “Contrast Pochettino’s personality with that of Jose Mourinho,” “I have been with him and he can be a lovely guy, but he can be very different when you are one of his players.
“Ask Luke Shaw what he is like and you will realise very quickly he has a different personality when you are not on his side. I never understand why he needs to be two people in this way, but this is how Mourinho will always be.”
Balagué got great access to the Pochettino world and the book looks to be a fascinating read, it’s nice to hear about how Pochettino is thought of and the obvious respect he is afforded. A man we are lucky to have at the helm at Hotspur Way
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