Aheadof Tottenham’s vital clash with West Brom tonight, it’s time to pour some coldwater on those Pochettino to United rumours…
While the majority of Soccerland presumes that JoséMourinho will take over from saxophone enthusiast Louis van Gaal this summer,there remains a portion of the media who believe another coach is on the Manchester club’s radar, should theDutchman slip quietly into the managerial night next month: Tottenham’s MauricioPochettino.
Butwhy would he join United, I hear youcry. A good question. Here’re three damn fine reasons why Pochettino would becertified ceerazy to jump ship to OldTrafford.
Unitedprobably won’t be in the Champions League next year
Perhaps the most obvious case for Pochettino stayingat Spurs. Football is a cyclical beast, of course. Today’s success story mightbe tomorrow’s staring in the mirror and wondering what the hell happened. Justbecause United won’t be in the Champions League next season, doesn’t mean theirnumber is up permanently.
That said, in a new age of uncertainty for theLeague’s super clubs, a move to United would feel somewhat of a sideways leapfor Pochettino. It smacks of a terrible waste of energy to rocket Spurs intothe Champions League, only to step off the ride while it’s just gettinginteresting, for another soul-sapping Europa League campaign next season. He’sonly done half the job; would he reallywant to cash his chips in now? I suspect not.
United’sacademy is in decline
Pochettino’s knack for developing young talent isunmatched in the Premier League. You only need to look at England’s recent barnstormingvictory over the world champions, and the amount of featured players who’vevisibly improved under the Argentine’s watch, to realise how much of an influencehe’s had. Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, DannyRose. It’s an impressive roll call.
At United, seemingly, the emphasis has changed.While Van Gaal must be credited for putting faith in gifted but unpolished youngsters— Rashford, Martial, Fosu-Mensah have all excelled thisseason— the overall condition of United’s academy is of some concern for Unitedfans.
Once a bottomless vending machine of fledglingtalent, it now appears as if their City rivals are the club more willing topump some of their considerable fortune into youth development. A recent investigationshowed that United’s academy costs a not-unsubstantial-£3.5m a year to run. Comparedto Man City, however, who’re outlaying a whopping £1m every month, the difference is clear.