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Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettinoandapos;s difficult hunt for andapos;perfectandapos; Premier League job during lockdown

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Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is raring to return to work and has revealed his "priority" is to remain in the Premier League.

Pochettino has been out of work since being sacked by Spurs in November but his gardening leave ended on May 19, leaving another club free to appoint him without having to pay Spurs compensation.

"After six months our tanks are completely full," said Pochettino, who is spending lockdown at his family home in north London.

"Always, you dream of the perfect club, the perfect project. [But] the project is not on the table, [so] it’s difficult to assess.

"Today, we are going to live a completely different era in football that we need to discover. It’s difficult to know what project is going to be the right project."

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Pochettino and his coaching staff – Jesus Perez, Miguel D'Agostino and Toni Jimenez – have used the past six months to "review everything" from seven years in English football with Southampton and Spurs.

Together, they have rewatched hours of video footage of training sessions and matches, and tweaked their methodologies to be ready for football's "new normality" and ensure they are prepared "for any eventuality".

"Football is very dynamic and you need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears, the new chapter in your professional life," he said.

Pochettino has admirers in the boardrooms at Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea, while he has been linked with a surprise move to Newcastle if their £300million Saudi-backed takeover is approved by the Premier League.

"Of course in my mind, I’m very open to wait for the seduction of the project rather than the country," said the Argentine, who was speaking over Zoom along with his assistant Perez.

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"It’s about the club and of course the people – the human dimension. We are so open. Of course, we love England, and the Premier League. We feel very good here. We are still living here in London.

"I am not going change [my feelings] now because I am not involved in the Premier League. Because I am no longer the Tottenham manager, I am not going to change my vision.

"I still think the Premier League is the best league in the world. We enjoy it a lot. Of course, it’s one of the options. Of course, it can be my priority but I am not closed to move to a different country.

"We have our house and our home here. We feel very good for the future in this country. People are very respectful. Football is so exciting. It’s difficult to move to Barcelona. And then my kids: Maurizio is playing for Tottenham, Sebastiano has a girlfriend here in London. The family is moving around here in London.

"At the moment my idea is to stay here, live in London – me, myself and my family.

Mauricio Pochettino's best results as Tottenham boss 1/24 A new era begins..... May 28 2014: Mauricio Pochettino signs a five year deal to become Tottenham's new manager. Getty Images 2/24 Tottenham 5 Chelsea 3 1 January 2015 - Harry Kane announces himself on the big stage as Spurs sweep Jose Mourinho's men aside at the Lane. Getty Images 3/24 Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1 7 February 2015 - Spurs come from behind to see off the Gunners and climb one point above their rivals. 4/24 Tottenham 4 Manchester City 1 26 September 2016 - Manuel Pellegrini's side have no answer to a potent Spurs attack and are powerless to prevent a rout. 5/24 Tottenham 4 West Ham 1 22 November 2015 - Spurs come flying out of the blocks and put a talented Hammers team to the sword with another four-goal haul. 6/24 Manchester City 1 Tottenham 2 14 February 2016 - Christian Eriksen caps a superb away performance at the Etihad Stadium. Pochettino leads the passionate celebrations at full time. AFP/Getty Images 7/24 Tottenham 3 Manchester United 0 10 April 2016 - Louis van Gaal's side are blown away in six second-half minutes. Getty Images 8/24 The next chapter.... Mauricio Pochettino reaches a verbal agreement to extend his contract until 2021. 9/24 Tottenham 2 Manchester City 0 2 October 2016 - An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and a Dele Alli strike help Spurs sweep Pep Guardiola's men aside. Getty Images 10/24 Tottenham 2 Chelsea 0 4 January 2017 - Dele Alli scores twice to help Spurs bring Chelsea's 13-game winning streak to an end. Getty Images 11/24 Tottenham 2 Arsenal 0 30 April 2016 - Harry Kane and Dele Alli are on target as Spurs confirm a superior league finish to their rivals for the first time since 1994-95. Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 12/24 Tottenham 2 Manchester United 1 14 May 2016 - Spurs bid farewell to White Hart Lane in style with Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane on target for the Lilywhites. AP 13/24 Tottenham 3 Borussia Dortmund 1 13 September 2017 - Tottenham banished last season's European disappointment with a thumping opening win at Wembley. Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 14/24 Real Madrid 1 Tottenham 1 17 October 2017 - A depleted Spurs impressed in the Bernabeu to record a vital Champions League point. Getty Images 15/24 Tottenham 4 Liverpool 1 22 October 2017 - Spurs put their top four rivals in their place with a resounding win under the arch. Stu Forster/Getty Images 16/24 Tottenham 3 Real Madrid 1 1 November 2017 - Tottenham follow up their result in Madrid with a memorable victory over the Champions League holders at Wembley. Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 17/24 Juventus 2 Tottenham 2 13 February 2018 - Tottenham fightback from being 2-0 down inside ten minutes to claim a memorable draw. However, they would lose the second leg 2-1 at Wembley. Getty Images 18/24 Chelsea 1 Tottenham 3 1 April 2018 - Spurs record their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen and a Dele Alli double. REUTERS 19/24 Barcelona 1 Tottenham 1 11 December 2018 - A draw a Camp Nou clinched Tottenham's progression to the Champions League knock-out stages. AFP/Getty Images 20/24 Tottenham 3 Dortmund 0 13 February 2019 - Tottenham thump the Bundesliga side in the first leg of their Champions League Last 16 tie. REUTERS 21/24 Dortmund 0 Tottenham 1 5 March 2019 - Harry Kane's goal sealed a 4-0 aggregate win and an impressive 1-0 victory in Germany. Bongarts/Getty Images 22/24 Tottenham 1 Man City 0 9 April 2019 - Heung-min Son scored the only goal of the game as Tottenham won the opening leg of their Champions League quarter-final. AP 23/24 Man City 4 Tottenham 3 Fernando Llorente was the hero for Tottenham as his late goal sent Spurs through to the Champions League semi-finals on away goals. Mike Egerton/PA Wire 24/24 Ajax 3 Tottenham 3 Lucas Moura's stunning hat-trick saw Spurs come from behind to book their place in the Champions League final. Getty Images

"[So] yes, it’s going to be difficult [to accept a job overseas] but not impossible. We are professional and we are going to find a way to create again and to feel good. If we do change the country, always we are going to miss England. We spend more than seven years in two amazing places in Southampton and London. We are very lucky people."

Asked how it would feel to face Spurs, Pochettino said: "It might never happen or maybe it happens quick. But like when it happened when we played against Southampton, it’s going to be special, for sure. But it’s going to be a game that we’d try to win as the professionals that we are. Of course, with all my respect for the club, the people and the fans. It would be special to come back to Tottenham."

Pochettino transformed Spurs into challengers for the Premier League title and led them to last season's Champions League Final but the only caveat against his impressive work is his failure to win silverware.

Asked if he feels it is important to win a trophy at his next club, he said: "It depends on the project. When we arrived to Tottenham, it was very clear.

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"Of course, when I was at Espanyol, I wanted to win trophies and when I moved to Southampton I wanted to win trophies. The same at Tottenham. The difference is the reality. Look at [Claudio] Ranieri. He won his first title at Leicester when he was nearly at the end of his career.

"People can say he wasn’t a successful coach, people can measure successful people in different ways. It’s easy to say, 'Oh, this guy won a lot of titles and this guy didn’t win'. But the problem is that we are not a coaching staff that started at Bayern Munich.

"If you start your career at Bayern Munich, it’s completely different to if you start your career at Nuremberg – with all respect to Nuremberg. You win a title with Nuremberg, it’s going to be more difficult than at Bayern Munich.

"If we talk like this, then 90 percent of coaches in the world are losers. Because in Spain, there is only Barcelona, Real Madrid. Maybe England is different but in Italy and Germany and France... In France, Paris St.-Germain dominate the league. Coaches are not thinking only about winning titles. It’s many things that are around. You find the motivation and the capacity to chose the right project."


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