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Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence on Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Spurs: ‘I’m so happy’

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Mourinho took over from Pochettino last November, ending the Argentine’s five-year reign which saw Tottenham reach the Champions League final just months earlier.

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Pochettino has broken his silence on Mourinho’s appointment

While Mourinho’s tenure has been blighted with long-term injuries to key players, results have hardly improved, and many have been left frustrated with the new manager’s tactics.

Nonetheless, Pochettino insists the Portuguese is the right man to lead Spurs forward and continue his project.

“I am so happy that he is at Tottenham, replacing me,” he admitted. “And of course I am happy as well to leave the club in the way that we left it, with all the facilities that are the best in the world.

“For sure, he is very grateful for the way that we helped to build the club, which is now his club.”

For much of his time in management, Pochettino has been linked with jobs that Mourinho had, notably at Real Madrid when he was in charge of Espanyol and then at Manchester United last season.

Jason Cundy can’t understand why Tottenham even appointed Jose Mourinho - They chose someone Chelsea and Man United sacked in identical fashion

And Pochettino has revealed the time he thought he would be Mourinho’s successor at the Bernabeu, leading to the Portuguese having a joke with him.

“With Jose, we know each other for a long time,” Pochettino said. “When I was the coach of Espanyol, and he was at Real Madrid, we had a very good relationship.

“He’s a top coach. And in life, look what happens. I always think I’d replace him.

“He was at Real Madrid. I say, ‘Oh, maybe one day I can take your place at Real Madrid’, and look at how life works out! He has taken my place at Tottenham. Unbelievable, eh?

“Some information appeared that maybe I was on the radar of Real Madrid in case Jose goes. It was in the past, years ago.

Getty Images

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Pochettino remains close friends with Mourinho

“We (Espanyol) were going to play Real Madrid and in the press conference before the game, the media asked me about that. I said I am never going to use these type of rumours to sell myself. To say, Yes … maybe one day. No. I am very humble and realistic. I don’t like to play with this.

“I said, ‘Oh, I am not thinking about that and, by the way, my kids are sleeping in Espanyol pyjamas every night. So it’s very difficult for me to think about changing. I am more than committed to Espanyol.’

“So, when I arrived to the stadium, Jose was waiting for me with a bag with a very nice bottle of French red wine and two kits of Real Madrid, shirts and shorts. He’s says, ‘OK, these are for your kids to wear from now on!’.

“We were joking from there and we have kept a very good relationship.”


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