Glenn Hoddle and Steve McManaman give their verdict on the Mauricio Pochettino to Real Madrid rumours
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would be ‘mad’ to walk out on Tottenham if Real Madrid makes attempts to woo him this summer.
That’s the verdict of Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle, who suggested Pochettino would be placing his reputation as the brightest young coach in world football on the line if he made the move to hottest coaching seat in world football.
All eyes will fall on the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday night as defending European champions Real Madrid host their potential successors in that prized position Paris Saint-Germain, with defeat almost certainly spelling the end of Zinedine Zidane’s triumphant reign as the club’s head coach.
Back-to-back Champions League wins and a Spanish title success last season will be quickly forgotten if Zidane fails to revive a flagging season by securing more European glory and unless he pulls off the miracle, Real Madrid chiefs are expected to come calling for Pochettino.
Fabio Capello, Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez are just some of the big-name managers who tried and failed to build a dynasty at Real Madrid, confirming that the club’s current President Florentino Perez is not a man who embraces patience.
With that in mind, Hoddle has told Independent.ie that Pochettino should ignore the advances of Real Madrid and wait for the right moment to take one of the world’s biggest jobs.
“If Pochettino had been at Tottenham for few months and a massive club like that came calling, it might be different, but he has been in place for a few years now and has put good foundations in place,” BT Sport pundit Hoddle told us.
“He would be mad to walk away from what he has at Tottenham and while the chairman he works for now can be tricky to deal with, it would be nothing compared to what he would get at Real Madrid.
“Look at the situation Zidane finds himself in now. He wins the Champions League two years in a row and a few months later he is on the brink of the sack. It’s ridiculous.
“Who would want to work at a club where the demands are almost impossibly high?
“At Real Madrid, a dip in form for a few weeks is a sackable offence, never mind a bad season, so Pochettino needs to consider what he would be giving up to leave Spurs for that club.
“He is trying to build something at Tottenham and so long he feels the club are backing him financially both in terms of keeping his best players and bringing in the ones he wants, he should be happy there.”
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman has backed Zinedine Zidane to remain in charge at the Bernabeu despite a disastrous season at the helm.
McManaman - who won two Champions League titles with Real Madrid - suggests it is ridiculous to suggest his former team-mate Zidane should be sacked after back-to-back wins in Europe's most prestigious competition.
“The pressure on Zidane is crazy when you consider what he has done over the last couple of years, but anything is possible when you talk about Real Madrid,” McManaman told us.
“I think Zizou should be given time to turn it around and winning two Champions League titles suggests he knows what he’s doing, but the Mauricio Pochettino rumours are there now and probably won’t go away.
“He is Argentinian, he speaks the language, he is the next big manager…it is feesible. Spurs won’t want him to go as a he has a good thing going on there, but you’ll never know.
“Let’s be honest, Real Madrid have run out of managers at this stage. They have had Capello, Mourinho, Ancelotti and everyone else, so maybe Pochettino is next for them. Personally I hope Zidane is given a chance to get things right. Give the guy a bit of patience and respect for what he has done for the club as a player and a coach.”