Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker is convinced that Mauricio Pochettino’s admission of his love for Tottenham and his desire to return to the club, came from the Argentine’s heart.
The former Spurs boss admitted his regret at not being able to start what he finished in North London and vowed to come back to win a title with the club in the future during an interview with BT Sport last week.
Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp suggested that perhaps Pochettino uttered those words to keep the fans on his side (Sky Sports’ The Football Show).
However, Parker is convinced that the 48-year-old’s comments were genuine and claimed that the Lilywhites made a mistake by letting him go in November.
In his column for Eurosport, the former Man Utd star wrote: “Pochettino’s statement really feels like it’s coming from the heart, and as if he means it. He’s well liked there and I think the club made a massive error there, somewhere along the line. Clubs have to stop looking at Twitter and go with what they believe.
“Football now is run by players and agents, and they need to start backing the manager. They need to get the owner or chairman in a dressing room and let them know: ‘This man isn’t leaving this club – if there’s a problem in the dressing room, it’s someone from the dressing room who needs to leave, not the manager.’
“I think Pochettino feels that there’s still something there, and you have to believe that. When you look at the Champions League final, a poor refereeing decision really cost Tottenham. The teams were out of sync because they’d had too long off before the final, so it wasn’t a great final, but there was still an opportunity for them.
“Spurs should have been able to bounce back from the Champions League final, but they didn’t and everyone wants to know why – what happened? I’m sure he knows and maybe there was something he feels he didn’t do right and he wants to rectify that, because he enjoyed himself at a great football club.”
While Spurs fans have reacted positively to Pochettino’s comments, he has been on the receiving end of some criticism from parts of the media.
The Daily Mail’s Joe Ridge has written a scathing piece accusing the former Tottenham manager of being a ‘specialist in failure’ and questioned why Spurs would want him back.
However, Parker is in no doubt that the Argentine did a fantastic job during his five and a half years in North London.
He added: “People will say, ‘He didn’t win any trophies,’ but what he was up against in that time, playing away from home for two seasons, and then taking the club into a Champions League final – It’s not always trophies that deem you’re a good manager.
“He managed the situation very well, because of what they got out of it. Spurs have gone into a shiny new stadium off the back of what he’s achieved and were in good health when they went into that stadium.
“Something rocked the boat, but it didn’t suddenly make him a bad manager, and you can tell by the players he’s worked with – some of them he’s turned into international players. Managers should be judged on what they’ve achieved with individual players as well as winning trophies. People can hide behind winning trophies.”
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You could quite easily tell that Pochettino’s comments were genuine and the emotional reaction from Spurs fans shows that the love is very much mutual. Hopefully, he comes back to us at a time when we’ve gone up another level and in the position to back him properly in the transfer market.
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