Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea appointment has aroused widespread condemnation from a large portion of supporters, many of whom say the former Tottenham manager committed an act of betrayal by taking the job.
While I share their allegiance and passion for Tottenham, our thoughts on the matter are at odds.
Pochettino’s desire to return to Tottenham has been well-documented since he left in 2019, particularly since Antonio Conte’s exodus 65 days ago.
When the news of Conte’s departure broke, Pochettino was on his way home from Asia, focusing solely on the prospect of his long-awaited return to his former club.
Pochettino had every intention of reuniting with the club he so obviously adores. He said it publicly numerous times and did everything in his power to move the needle. The only thing required was a semblance of reciprocity from Daniel Levy.
That reciprocity was never forthcoming, not in the least.
As confirmed by Fabrizio Romano, one of football’s most reliable media sources, Levy never once contacted Pochettino, not even for an introductory, unofficial conversation.
While the pain of seeing him sign with one of Tottenham’s most loathed rivals brings nothing but agitation, frustration, and heartache, Pochettino isn’t the one to blame.
Levy had his chance and, unsurprisingly, blew it. Pochettino has been out of work for about a year now and would be foolish not to take one of the world’s most coveted coaching jobs knowing the team he would prefer to manage had snubbed, even disprespected him.
Yes, it’s a hard, painful pill to swallow, but in no way does it diminish what Pochettino did for Spurs and how the gaffer still feels about the club.
He had to look after No. 1, as most people in the world tend to do. He doesn’t have the luxury of sitting idly by, waiting for another highly touted position to roll his way.
One year out of coaching is more than enough, and any additional idle time on the sidelines would be detrimental to his future job prospects. He needed to get back in the saddle, and I presume the job offers weren’t flowing like the taps at a north London pub before kickoff.
So let’s take the higher ground when Pochettino invades Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with his new team, offering him the respect and applause he deserves.
It won’t deter nor detract us from the perpetual animosity we feel toward the club Pochettino now manages.
Let’s direct our loathing toward the Blues, not their new gaffer, whom our chairman left out in the cold despite everything he has done for our club.
Of course, I wouldn’t be saying the same thing if he signed on the dotted line at the Emirates.