He’ll say ‘no’

by Paul Maslin

Pochettino is going nowhere, Paul Maslin explains how the situation at both clubs will keep Mauricio at Spurs...

The jackals are out. All the two-bit speculators, the Old Trafford loyalists, the defenders of other clubs who would just as soon put us back into the dustbin of mid-table and forget about us. Gary Neville is in full orgasmic fury over just how perfect this fit would be. And for the neutrals– or the softer Spurs supporters (and I am going to be kind, because all humans can be guilty of listening to their fears above all else)– the refrain is, “You can’t say No to Manchester United”.. “look at that brand”… “think of the recruitment.”

Bollocks to all of it. You know why it’s wrong? Because Poch will say NO to Manchester United. I’m not naive enough to think that the NO is permanent– one day, perhaps sooner than we’d like the answer will be YES– perhaps to Real Madrid, or the Argentine national team, or maybe Man United in 3 years if, IF, they have their act together. But why on God’s good earth would he want to join this mess of a club right now– or in the summer?

Compare the squads. Two of theirs would make our starting XI for certain. Two. A goalkeeper who may have seen his best days (and to be fair, so might ours) and a midfielder who can’t get his derriere off the bench for the last three months. What is the commitment of either DeGea or Pogba to the great brand of Manchester United. Are they players to build around, compared to, say, Harry Kane, Dele Alli or Hugo Lloris? other than those two, none of the back four could make our starting squad. None of the forwards could either, despite their former reputations. Lukaku over Kane? please. Lingard over Dele? Seriously. Rashford instead of Eriksen? or Son, for that matter? No and No. Maybe Matic could get a look, but that is only because Winks mught still be a year away and Dier has slipped some and Dembele has seen his best days. Is Matic playing better than Sissoko at present? i don’t think so.

And realise that whatever the recruitment potential this side is 6th and nearly out of sight from the other 5 for good reason. Does Pochettino want to throw himself into this project, get thumped by City, Liverpool, Chelsea or Woolwich, and God forbid Spurs and then what? How will a lack of trophies look then?

How about the Glazers and Ed Woodward. How can the hierarchy that hired Moyes, hired Van Gaal, made a deal with the Special One Devil– and allowed this proud club retreat into a pretty ordinary position over the last five years be trusted to work alongside you to turn it around? Poch may have immense self-confidence– I’m sure he does– and may chafe at times over Daniel’s restrictions– but is this job working with these people really preferable? I mean if you are going to make a move to a big big club, why not wait out Salori– whether this summer, the next or three summers from now because Madrid always will move to someone else– and get into a much better situation with a club of proven recent success?

And then there’s the small matter of the new ground. Unless Poch believes that there will be a multi-year shackle around his ankles– and I do NOT believe this is an analogous situation to the Emirates– the sport has changed in the last 15 years and Spurs are smarter than Woolwich were then about how the finances work– why in God’s name would he leave now? After four months there? When his team– the one he built and nurtured– is poised to strike for its highest ambition? Again, I am not naive to think we are his last job– or his biggest. But I do have the belief that he means what he has said about seeing this thing through.

Why then did he not kill it instantly today, one might ask? because he has a brain. He basically told us last week, in a rather cheerful manner, that it’s not so bad to have this speculation. If nothing else, it keeps Levy on his toes and wanting to make life happy, But there is the matter of the 5 year deal– surely he knew when he signed it that either this job or Madrid could open within a year or two– both have– i do not believe it is a worthless document. And besides when Poch looks Daniel in the eye and says i want “midfleider X or striker Y” this January– and the Chairman looks back at him, they each know a bit more about the stakes involved… He’d be a fool to take it completely off the table in a nanosecond.

But he’d be a bigger fool to take this job. It is nor the right time, not the right team, not the right situation, not the right karma. He is magic, you know. And a really good magician understands his audience– he needs to perform one or two more really good tricks here– on our stage– before going on to the next gig.


Paul Maslin


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