Not for the first time Mauricio Pochettino has been likened to Manchester City mastermind Pep Guardiola. However, this time, those comparisons are being used to nail — rather than eulogise — the Argentine.
It is no surprise considering Chelsea’s turgid start to the season. Seven years ago, Guardiola was merely getting to grips with English football. His debut campaign, in truth, was underwhelming.
City finished the season trophyless and only just secured a Champions League place as Chelsea romped to their most recent title win. Ironically, the Blues — languishing in 14th — are probably closer to winning the league than Guardiola is to surrendering a top-four spot.
Many had written off the Spaniard’s possession-heavy tactics as futile in England. As everyone now knows, they could not have been more wrong.
Pochettino, then Spurs boss, finished above Guardiola that year, finishing second behind Chelsea. Comparisons to the Barcelona great were made but he quickly dispelled them as nonsensical.
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“All I can say is they want to copy a guy who wins and that is a big mistake,” Guardiola said at the time. “Some coaches invite me to see their training because they are having problems.
“I say to them ‘be yourself’. If you like someone that is OK, but remember they also lose games so that is a big mistake. It is not like a computer where you can copy and paste, you have to think.
“I want to give my influence to my players. I want to convince them on the pitch. But not for the sake of creating new things in English football. I didn’t come here just to changeRead on football.london