On Pochettino and VAR

Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters
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We’re back with part two of our countdown to Madrid. Today we talk Pochettino and VAR. 

Our panel have strong connections to Spurs. One is the host of a Spurs podcast (Theo Delaney), one is the host of a Spurs website (Paul Smith), one the son of a Spurs legend (Rob White) and the last two used to play in our famous shirt (Micky Hazard and David Howells). 



Today we talk about Mauricio Pochettino and the VAR in Manchester!

Erlend: - Are there any words left to describe Mauricio Pochettino? And are you afraid we might lose him?

Micky Hazard: - I’m not afraid about losing him at all. I think he has built a very good team at a time when we have built an incredible stadium costing 1.2 billion pounds. This, in the end, will be the legacy he leaves behind if he leaves now. There are not many superlatives left to describe the job he’s done, but it is remarkable given the situation with the stadium, players etc.

- An outstanding manager

David Howells: - He is a very good honest man with strong principles and a huge positive heart that he carries proudly and shares with the whole club. Of course MP won’t be at Spurs forever, but I strongly feel that he is with us for the foreseeable future.

Theo Delaney: - He is a truly outstanding manager. In my lifetime he is comfortably in the top three Spurs bosses with Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw. I am a little afraid of losing him. But I really think he loves it at Tottenham. As long as he is given money to spend on new players this summer, I can’t see any reason for him to go. The only big jobs that might come up are Chelsea and Juventus. I just don’t see him leaving us for either of them. If PSG comes up it might prove more tempting, but he has relative security at Spurs where he is truly loved by everyone.

Phil Noble Reuters 2

Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

- Tired of achieving miracles 

Rob White: - There aren’t many words left to describe Pochettino. I went to listen to Jesus Perez talk a couple of months ago, and it’s evident to see that although Pochettino relies heavily on his management team, they all still feel that he has something special about him that sets him apart from them. I don’t think that he’ll leave Tottenham in the near future, although I think that he has given some pretty obvious hints to Levy about Tottenham needing to look at changing the way that we operate. He’s probably tired of achieving miracles.

Paul Smith: - Pochettino has to be greatly admired for what he has achieved with Spurs with limited financial resources. He has in effect said himself that the club needs to move on and that is being read as a need for investment in the playing side of this wonderful football club. I do greatly admire Mauricio as an individual, and I believe that with the historic Argentine connection with the club, Mauricio will continue to be committed to the project. 

VAR chaos in Manchester 

Erlend: - The Champions League this season has been a fantastic journey for all people connected to the club. Did you think it could get any better after the VAR-decision in Manchester?

Rob White: - When we think back to how the group started, and what a miserable journey it was looking likely to be, it’s incredible to now think that we are in the final in Madrid. Apparently it’s now five times in this CL campaign we have been within ten minutes of going out. Incredible resilience.

- I’ve seen so many football matches in my life, and honestly didn’t think that the drama off the VAR decision in Manchester could possibly be bettered. Such lows, and such highs in such a short space of time, and then came Amsterdam.

David Howells: - Yes, of course! We must have belief in this team and the manager that we can continue to progress. I always thought we could get through the semi-final, but could never predict that it would be even more dramatic than City.

- Historic moments

Paul Smith: - My head told me we would not get past City, and I had started to leave the stadium (only as far as the concourse) when that dramatic late VAR decision ensured our passage to the semi-final. I did feel that City were the major obstacle to our path to the final, but of course the semi-final also proved to be a major drama!

Micky Hazard: - No, I didn’t, that was just one of the most incredible moments in our history. Having said that, the Moura goal was too, and if I had to choose a moment from those two I don’t think I could separate them. Two unbelievable moments in our history! 

Theo Delaney: - I thought we’d struggle to beat Ajax because of the injuries, Son’s suspension and our overall form. And we did struggle, but we won! I think in this campaign the odds have been consistently stacked against us and somehow we have got through again and again and here we are in the final. 


Photo David Howells: Action Images. 
Photo Micky Hazard: John Sibley/Reuters. 

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