Wednesday 12 December 2018

Gary Neville backs Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino to replace Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Jack de Menezes

Gary Neville believes Mauricio Pochettino “deserves” to replace Jose Mourinho when he eventually leaves Manchester United because of the “terrific” job that he is doing at Tottenham Hotspur.

Plenty of attention has gone to the fact that Spurs will finish another season without a trophy, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United 10 days ago, but they are on course to qualify for the Champions League via a top-four finish and, following Monday’s 2-0 victory over Watford, need just five points from three games to guarantee their place at Europe’s top table next season.

Pochettino has remained coy on his Tottenham future in recent weeks, and although the Argentine is contracted to the north London club until 2021 – after signing a five-year deal in 2016 – he admitted that his future beyond the end of the season remains in chairman Daniel Levy’s hands.

One person that Pochettino has impressed though is former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who believes that under his guidance Spurs have overachieved in terms of what they’ve spent compared to their Premier League rivals.

“Pochettino is doing a terrific job,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. “You give a manager money, and he will win the league more times than not.

“They’re [Spurs] up against it from the start. They’re outperforming and over-achieving season after season and Pochettino is keeping the wolves away from Daniel Levy’s door with the job he is doing.”

Spurs are currently on course to finish third if they win their three remaining games this season, with the club one point behind Liverpool with a game in hand, and should they do so they will finish behind Manchester City and likely United, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal among those behind.

Combine that with what Spurs have achieved under Pochettino since he took the role in 2014 and Neville believes that it is more than enough to stake his claim as Mourinho’s successor once the Portuguese’s reign at Old Trafford ends.

“The one thing in would say: When Jose Mourinho leaves Manchester United, this is the guy who I would want to manage my football club. He deserves it,” Neville added.

“It’s probably the same for PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] and Real Madrid. And Daniel Levy knows that. That’s what’s coming for Tottenham in the next 12 months and it’s a big problem for them because he is extracting the maximum from very limited resources.”

Mourinho is contracted to United until 2020, but has expressed his desire to stay at United for “at least 10 years” in the hope of building something of a legacy at the club.

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