Tottenham’s decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and replace him with Jose Mourinho last week came as a major surprise to most fans.
While the Argentine was coming under mounting pressure owing to the poor results this campaign, the general feeling was that he would get time to see the season through.
As one would expect, Dele Alli admitted that the players were left heartbroken when they heard the news. The Spurs midfielder, who got his chance under the Argentine, shed light on the conversation he had with his former manager when he heard of the sacking.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League tie against Olympiacos, the England midfielder told Football.London, “It’s clear to everyone how much Poch meant to the players. Being here for nearly five years he has seen me grow as a person and helped me a lot.
“I came here as an 18-year-old, new to it all and I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs here but he’s helped me through it all. I can’t thank him enough. I felt it was important as soon as I saw the news. I was very upset but I tried to get in contact with him and the next day I went to see him.
“It was just a conversation between two friends. He has helped me through a lot – I’ve seen him more than I see my own family in the last five years, so it was very tough. But this is football and things change all the time so we know what we have to do.
“We have a job to do, we have to move forward. But for sure he is someone I’m going to stay in contact with. It will be different because he’s not the manager but he’s an amazing person and helped me so much throughout my career – not just in football but in life as well.”
The 23-year-old also admitted that he felt guilty after Pochettino was let go as he could have performed better in recent times, but insisted that he always gave everything for the Argentine.
When asked if he felt partially responsible for Pochettino’s sacking, Alli said, “I would be lying if I said when it first happened.. you just blame yourself, you are sad and don’t look at the big picture. We have had some amazing journeys together, we have all grown together, all the players and coaching staff.
“We have achieved a lot in terms of where we have come from. We are thankful to them, you can’t help but feel you are a bit to blame. I gave 110 per cent and sometimes it does not work out. The chairman made his decision. Now as players we have a new manager and we owe the club a lot and we have to start winning games again.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While the performances under Pochettino have been extremely poor for the best part of a year, I don’t believe it is fair to accuse the players of not trying hard enough for the Argentine. Even with rumours of an apparent fall out between Pochettino and some members of the squad, the players still gave their all but for some reason, things just didn’t click on the pitch.
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