Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 September 2019

Pochettino sticking with translator

Mauricio Pochettino took over at Southampton in January
Mauricio Pochettino took over at Southampton in January

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino will continue to use an interpreter in press conferences in order to get his point cross succinctly - not because he cannot speak English.

Ever since his surprise arrival in January, the former Argentina international has spoken through a Spanish translator when doing media interviews.

But, after 11 months on the south coast, the number of people asking why he is not yet speaking English is growing, even if results on the field do not suggest problems with communication.

Pochettino does, in fact, speak to players and staff in perfectly good English and explained an inability to express himself fully is the only reason he still uses an interpreter.

"It's clear that if I were to answer more simple questions I could give also more simple answers," he said.

"I wouldn't have any problem with that.

"The fact is I have an interpreter because he gives me the security that, when I have to answer complex questions, and with my complex answers, it's much better I have an interpreter to make sure nothing is misconstrued.

"I am having English lessons and I should be having more English lessons.

"I don't see it as an excuse, but I do spend from 7am to 8pm at the training ground working all day long, so that doesn't give me much time left to have extra English lessons.

"I do also learn a lot from the players and the people at the training ground. They speak to me in English and that's positive for me so I am progressing."

Perhaps just to hammer home the point, Pochettino then broke into sustained English for the first time in front of the media.

"Communication at the training ground is good but outside in my life is not easy," he said.

"All the time I improve a lot of words and different sentences, but it's not easy to communicate with you (the media) and in front of the cameras is too difficult."

While the subject of communication rolls on, Pochettino certainly got his point across when asked about the future of highly rated Luke Shaw.

Still only 18, the left-back has attracted admiring glances from a number of Premier League clubs, including reported interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.

"They can show their interest," Pochettino said, speaking in Spanish. "That's not something we control.

"But in this individual case he is not a player we are willing to sell. In a sporting manner, he is not for sale."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport