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Opinion: Mauricio Pochettino is a dream Arsenal can’t have

Mauricio Pochettino, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League
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A controversial move for ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will never materialise for Arsenal no matter how much sense it makes.

The English football world is still processing Wednesday morning’s news over Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham manager. It literally came out of the blue, with many having tipped the Portuguese to take charge of Arsenal instead.

But it was Pochettino, not Unai Emery, who was shown the door amid a difficult run of form for Spurs.

Nevertheless, the Argentine impressed hugely during his five years at Spurs. He won 160 of his 293 games, and led the club to four successive top-four Premier League finishes. A first-ever Champions League final appearance last season capped things off.

The only stain, in an otherwise stunning spell, was Pochettino’s failure to land any silverware in north London. He came close twice as Spurs finished runners-up in both the EFL Cup and the Champions League.

But things began to fall apart towards the end of last season, with Spurs only winning three of their 12 league games. And it’s only gotten worse this term as the club sit 14th in the Premier League, and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Colchester United.

A 7-2 home thrashing to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month exposed the growing problems at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Therefore, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has turned to former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Mourinho. 

While Pochettino is now a free agent, with his strong reputation still intact.

Why Pochettino could be ideal for Arsenal

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Carabao Cup: Quarter Final
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: Unai Emery, Manager of Arsenal speaks with Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur prior to the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on December 19, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

For many die-hard Arsenal supporters, the idea of an ex-Spurs coach taking charge is unacceptable. Then again, they also want Emery out ASAP.

Fueling doubts over the Spaniard’s future was a report from the Evening Standard claiming he only has six games left to save his job.

And few can argue with Pochettino’s credentials as Emery’s replacement during these difficult times for Arsenal.

The 47-year-old is no stranger to handling difficult circumstances having done so brilliantly at Spurs. He had to contend with home games at Wembley for 18 months while the club’s new home ground was under construction, yet still yielded great results.

Perhaps his most impressive feat, though, was the way he kept Spurs strong while going two transfer windows without making a single signing.

This will be hard to ignore for the Arsenal chiefs, who have never been big spenders like Manchester City. It could give the club some stability on both the pitch and on the business side of things.

Pochettino will also excel at nurturing the young talent coming through in Gabriel Martinelli, Kieran Tierney and Matteo Guendouzi. 

He will never take the job

Sadly, though, the idea of Pochettino in the Emirates Stadium dugout is nothing more than a mere dream.

The former Southampton boss is a loyal guy, who would never betray his beloved Espanyol for Catalan rivals Barcelona. So, Spurs fans can expect the same despite Levy’s treatment of him.

Pochettino himself even ruled out the prospect in 2017.

“I am an Espanyol supporter,” said Pochettino in a press conference.

“I don’t think I need to speak too much about Barcelona.

“It’s like if one day Daniel Levy sacked me – in a few years it would be impossible for me to manage Arsenal.

“I grew up at Newell’s Old Boys and I would never train Rosario Central.”

“In football, it’s so difficult to keep your values and to be loyal – with your heart and emotion,” the Argentine added.

“But for me before being a manager, before being a player, being loyal is more important. I am an Espanyol fan.

“I love Espanyol. It’s like Tottenham for me now. It will be impossible, one day, to move to Arsenal. It will be impossible.”

Still, there will be plenty of opportunities for Pochettino further down the road. Recent reports, in fact, have claimed Bayern Munich could be his next destination.

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