Mauricio Pochettino reiterated his “love” for Marcelo Bielsa but admitted his fellow Argentine is wrong in the ongoing ‘Spygate’ controversy.
Tottenham boss Pochettino has previously described Bielsa as a “second father” after the 63-year-old brought him through at Newell’s Old Boys before manging him at Espanyol and with the Argentina national team.
Leeds United head coach Bielsa is currently being investigated by the Football Association and English Football League after sending a spy to observe Derby Country training ahead of the Rams’ trip to Elland Road last Friday.
Bielsa subsequently held an extraordinary news conference on Wednesday at which he said he had sent staff to spy on each of Leeds’ opponents this season before attempting to play down its importance by showing journalists a presentation detailing the depth of the analysis he does on all rivals.
Bielsa, whose Leeds team are top of the Championship, has received very little support from within the game and even Pochettino refused to back him when asked his opinion on Friday.
The Spurs boss said: “It’s a situation that makes me a little bit sad.
“It’s so important to split my special personal relationship with him and describe a situation that happened a week ago.
“Always my love is going to be with him. He was a person so important to me, to build my career as a player.
“But, after that, we’re talking about a situation that happened last week and I can’t agree [with it]. For me, it’s wrong. I can understand [Derby boss] Frank Lampard’s feelings. It’s a thing that’s not easy to explain.”
Marcelo now walks the press through video analysis of an opponent’s offensive actions, explaining how it totals 40 minutes, which is then broken down into 8 minute clips for the players pic.twitter.com/juLwE0NEGo
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 16, 2019
A lack of understanding of English culture has been put forward as a defence for Bielsa but Pochettino is not convinced.
“For me, always when I talk about England, about the organisation and culture you have here, for any manager the key is to work in an environment you create,” he said.
“The English people and the culture you create here gives you the opportunity to work in privacy. That doesn’t happen maybe in Germany or Argentina or Spain. That makes us feel more responsible to keep the idea that you can work, feel at home and you don’t need to hide anything.
“There’s many opinions we can listen to after last week.
“To be honest, my feeling is a little sad. Rather than talking about football and how fantastic Leeds are doing in the Championship, we’re talking about one fact that doesn’t help football.
“Of course it doesn’t change my view about Marcelo but I can’t agree with what happened.”
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