Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou has hailed the “unbelievable impact” Mauricio Pochettino had as Spurs boss, but says the Argentine will not get a guard of honor when he returns to north London with Chelsea.
Pochettino will return to Spurs in the rival dugout on Monday – live on Sky Sports – having spent four successful years at Tottenham between 2015 and 2019, where he took the club to the Champions League final and into several title challenges.
With Postecoglou now the popular manager at Spurs, the Australian says the Pochettino era will “stand the test of time” and has urged his club’s fans to treat the Chelsea manager with respect – despite him now managing Tottenham’s big rivals.
“It’s undoubted that he had an unbelievable impact on this football club,” said Postecoglou of Pochettino. “All of us in our roles, our ultimate goal and ambition is to, whatever doors we go through, have an impact.
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“He’s had an undeniable impact on this football club. His time here, he almost took the club to the ultimate sun of the Champions League and got close to the league, so his work is unquestioned.
“Everyone I speak to around here, the people still here who worked with him, can’t speak highly enough of him as a person and a manager. I doubt there would be anything but respect for Mauricio from anyone at this football club, supporters or people associated with it.
“That doesn’t mean he’s going to get a guard of honor on Monday night, because we want to win the game. I don’t think he expects that.
“His tenure and impact here is undeniable and will stand the test of time, so when people look back at Mauricio’s time here as a manager, they will only look upon it with respect and fondness.”
‘Spending £1bn on players is not the answer but Poch will get it right’
Tottenham go into the Premier League weekend at the top of the table, while Chelsea are 14 points behind them in the middle of the table.
Under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership, the Blues have spent over £1bn on new players in the past two years, yet Spurs top the table having spent a much more modest fee on players.
Pochettino is also the third permanent Chelsea manager since Boehly took over the club, and Postecoglou was asked to assess the challenge the Blues boss faces in trying to mold a large group of new players together.
“What I have to deal with, and what Mauricio has to deal with are very, very different,” said the Tottenham manager. “But what we’re trying to do is build a team that we both feel can bring success.
“You look at Mauricio’s track record, I have no doubt he will get them on the right path but how he goes about it, he knows better than anyone else.”
Asked if he would like £1bn to spend on new players, Postecoglou replied: “Not necessarily. I’ve never felt it’s about just spending money. That’s been proven time and time again. If you get it all right then you get a pretty strong case but there’s always a limit to every team.
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“You can’t have 24 world-class players, that will never work. It doesn’t work, that’s been proven. It’s about having a squad, guys committed to a cause, guys who maybe aren’t going to play every game but every time they do, they make a big impact on you because they buy into what you’re trying to do.
“Spending the money to get the best players, it’s been proven time and time again is not the answer. The answer is to get the right chemistry in the squad and get 24 players buying into one cause. I don’t think you can do that if you have the 24 best players in the world, that’s not what I want.”
Watch Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham return as Spurs host Chelsea live on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football this week from 6.30pm; kick-off 8pm. The match can also be streamed using a NOW TV pass.