Big Match

Rumours of me leaving Spurs are stupid, says Pochettino

Pochettino (above) has dismissed “stupid rumours” that he could quit Tottenham after their shaky start to the season.
Pochettino (above) has dismissed “stupid rumours” that he could quit Tottenham after their shaky start to the season.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed the "stupid rumours" that he could quit the club after their shaky start to the Premier League season and insisted he wanted to extend his stay so he can rebuild the team.

Spurs make the short visit to north London rivals Arsenal today looking for a rebound, after last week's shock 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle that left them with four points from the first three games.

Pochettino has endured a difficult summer, mainly with unease over transfers.

"What can I say about stupid rumours? After five years now I start my sixth season," the Argentinian, who has a contract until 2023, told reporters at his pre-match conference on Friday. "You know how we worked this summer to rebuild and update because from each summer we have built version 2.0, 3.0, now we're version 6.0.

"That stupidity can happen through some rumour sent into social media that creates a big problem that doesn't exist. I'm not going to walk away after the derby.

"The most important thing is to help the team on the pitch and make sure the communication is clear. I hope that I can extend my life here."

The 47-year-old, who had been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid, said that he has turned down "plenty" of job offers in England and overseas.

"They were from everywhere," he added. "Daniel (Levy, the chairman) knows very well how our commitment with the club is. It's massive - more than what is normal.

Going back to February, Spurs have won only four of 15 league games, losing eight, and he is conscious of the downward trend, with the 86-point finish in 2016-17 followed by 77 in 2017-18 and 71 last term.

He said: "If you analyse last season, we need to improve in the Premier League.

"In the last part of last season we went a little bit down. But we kept the season alive and the perception was good because we progressed in the Champions League.

"But now we need to try to push again. That is why we need to be on the same page - the club, Daniel and us in our vision and plans for the future.

"I am very happy to be here, very proud. Five years ago, we started a project at a very different club. Now, we are one of the best clubs in the world.

"We have played in the final of the Champions League and now the aim is to remain competitive."

Despite his side's difficulties, the manager is looking forward to the clash at the Emirates Stadium, where Spurs have failed to win in the Premier League since 2010.

"We know well what this game means. I'm lucky to be involved in this type of game. I love to play this type of game and I am so excited and optimistic that we will perform in our best way," he said.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Rumours of me leaving Spurs are stupid, says Pochettino'. Print Edition | Subscribe