Monday 19 November 2018

Pochettino defends Tottenham diary decision

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: PA
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: PA

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Mauricio Pochettino mounted another defence of his decision to publish a tell-all diary of Tottenham Hotspur's 2016-'17 season, insisting that his revealing new book would help people to understand his job, and that it would have been more of a risk had he been less candid.

'Brave New World' was released this month, containing detailed insights into Spurs' last season and Pochettino's private conversations with colleagues and players. Since publication Spurs' league form has struggled, prompting questions as to whether the two things are linked.

Pochettino absolutely rejects that interpretation, pointing to the wins over Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund this month, and insisting that none of his players could have an issue with his own honest recollections of the previous season. Asked about the issue of betraying dressing-room confidences, Pochettino said that social media had eroded traditional understandings of privacy and discretion.

"Today you can find out what a player, manager or famous person is doing on Twitter or Instagram," Pochettino said. "You can see and know everything that they are doing. I don't have Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This book was a great opportunity to do something different.

"It's not only an autobiography, it is something that helps people understand our job. It enables people to see one manager in the Premier League and how interacts with players. It is not always good and rose-tinted, sometimes things happen. I think it was a very good idea from the club, and from Guillem Balague."

While the book details conversations with players like Eric Dier which raised have raised some eyebrows, Pochettino insisted that its candour was a strength, not a weakness. "It's a risk when you lie," Pochettino said. "If you tell the truth, why [is it a risk]? This is a very honest book that was involved with the club for a very good thing.

"I think it's an amazing book because all of you can read what happens in a season for a professional club," Pochettino said. "The problem is when you lie, when you lie inside and want to be different. But for me I am here how I am inside."

But Pochettino knows that popularity comes at a price, and admitted that he has to consciously avoid "crossing the limit" into what he calls "the dark side" - that is the place where praise and success would go to his head and change who he is.

He joined Spurs from Southampton in 2014 but since then has been linked with managerial jobs at Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, making him one of the most sought-after managers in world football.

"We are in a position where it is easy, when the people praise you and say 'he is so good' with managers, coaches, players, usually the temptation is to cross the limit and live in a life that is in the dark side," he said.

"Always I am so careful, so conscious that I don't want to cross this line, I don't want to become crazy for the praise because we win or we achieve things.

"That is my worry. To be conscious and to stop before I cross the line because it is difficult to come back after. You behave differently to the way you are. I don't want to lose the identity I had as a child." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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