Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pochettino: Wenger the last of his era

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Feb 2018

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Mauricio Pochettino thinks Arsene Wenger could be the last Premier League manager to remain in charge of a club for a generation.

Wenger is the longest-serving manager in the league by a huge distance, having been in his post at Arsenal since 1996.

Only Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and Burnley boss Sean Dyche have lasted more than five years at their clubs, while Pochettino’s three-and-a-half years at Tottenham make him the fourth longest serving manager in the Premier League.

And Pochettino, speaking ahead of Saturday’s north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal, thinks impatience from club owners will make it impossible for anyone to last as long as Wenger.

“It’s difficult [to be like Wenger],” Pochettino told reporters. “For different reasons, it is tough. Maybe we are talking about one of the last managers to be able to apply this power over everything in a football club.

“The owners are different these days. Before, England was a little bit of a paradise for football. It was unique: there was respect for projects, for people, respect for managers, and even when I arrived at Southampton five years ago, it was still there.

“But now the owners are different. When English football started to integrate more with European football, England started to share the Latin culture more. And in the last few years, everything that has happened in the English game is similar to what would happen in another European country.”

Tottenham have ended talk of a ‘Wembley curse’ with a 12-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at their temporary home, beating Manchester United 2-0 in their last match at the national stadium.

Pochettino believes Spurs, who will move back into a redeveloped White Hart Lane for the 2018-19, now feel at home at Wembley.

“It was difficult at the beginning,” Pochettino said. “It’s like when you move house. You’re born and you grow up all your life in a house and after 20 years you move to another house. You need time to adapt to everything.

“The first few nights you don’t sleep because everything is completely different. It’s a new house but it’s not your home. Now we start to feel that it’s home, when before it was just a new house.

“For the fans, it’s the same. It’s difficult to adapt for the fans because they’re so spread out and they were always in the same place all their life, with the same people next to you, in the same bar before the game. We are creatures of habit.”

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