Would Mauricio Pochettino accept the opportunity to manage Arsenal after being sacked by Tottenham?
The Argentine may face this dilemma over the coming weeks.
Pochettino previously insisted that he would never manage Arsenal because he was “so identified” with Spurs. But that was back in 2018 – a year before he was unceremoniously sacked by Daniel Levy.
“I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol,” he said in 2018.
“I grew up in Newell’s Old Boys and will never manage Rosario Central [in Argentina]. That is my decision because I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places.”
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Despite the 47-year-old’s previous comments, Pochettino is currently the joint-fourth favourite to replace the sacked Unai Emery at Arsenal in the eyes of the bookmakers.
Max Allegri is the favourite, followed by Nuno Espirito Santos, interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg and Mikel Arteta.
But David Ornstein, the most reliable journalist when it comes to all things Arsenal, has published an interesting report on The Athletic confirming Spurs view Pochettino as a ‘credible option to become their next permanent head coach’.
Can you imagine…
Ornstein continues: “Pochettino is taking a break after his dismissal and it is unclear how he would view a potential approach from Arsenal, though it does seem an unlikely move and it would ruin the relationship he has built with Tottenham fans.”
However, he caveats that by saying Pochettino and his staff still live in London, so the Arsenal job would be convenient in that sense.
That Arsenal are interested in potentially appointing Pochettino, one of the most revered coaches in football right now despite being dismissed by last season’s Champions League finalists Spurs, comes as no real surprise.
He may not have won any silverware during his five-and-a-half-year spell with Arsenal’s bitter rivals, but he transformed the team and turned them into a competitive force both domestically and in Europe.
The Gunners know that if they don’t appoint Pochettino, another top club inevitably will.
Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are just four of the European heavyweights the South American has been linked with over the past week.
Will Pochettino end up managing Arsenal? We doubt it.
But like former Chelsea hero Jose Mourinho said when asked why he said he would never manage Tottenham, only to take the job years later – everything changes when you get sacked.