Mauricio Pochettino has responded to Danny Rose’s request that Tottenham do not sign players “you have to Google” by referencing his own rise from anonymity to managerial stardom.
Rose apologised for criticising Spurs’ pay structure and transfer strategy in a statement released shortly before Tottenham’s press conference to preview tomorrow’s Premier League match against Newcastle.
The 27-year-old told The Sun on the eve of the new season that “I know my worth and I will make sure I get what I am worth” and implored the board to sign “world-class players” and “not players you have to google and say, ‘who’s that?’”
Pochettino made light of Rose’s plea that Spurs recruit household names by reminding him that he was a relative unknown when he took over at Southampton in 2013 and illustrates his point further though the rise of Eric Dier, Dele Alli, and N’Golo Kante.
“If you remember four years ago, the people say who is Mauricio Pochettino? I’m sure they used Google or Chrome!” former Argentina international Pochettino said.
“But you know the problem...straight away it went to the penalty I gave away against Michael Owen. That situation killed me! But look now.
“And when you sign a player like Eric Dyer, who is an international today when no-one knew him before. Or Dele Alli or Kante.”
It is understood that Chelsea target Rose has been fined two weeks’ wages for his comments and Pochettino insists the defender’s apology has brought the matter to a close.
“Sometimes as a player you are frustrated for different reasons. But the players are calm and the club is calm. I forgive him,” Pochettino said.
“It was his opinion and then he understood that maybe he needed to apologise to us and that is very good for him and the club. For me it’s not a big issue. Now we move on.”
Tottenham have yet to recruit any players this summer but Pochettino reassured fans there will be new arrivals.
“I’m sure we’ll add some players who will strengthen the squad, like every season.”
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has cut an increasingly frustrated figure this summer as players he targeted in May have evaded him, with fees and wages rocketing.
However, asked to sum up his mood ahead of tomorrow’s opening fixture at home to Tottenham, Benitez said: “Commitment.
“I say that my commitment is there. If we do what we have to do and do it in a professional way, thinking about football as a priority, we can improve.”
“I’m here. My commitment is 100%. I will try to do my best. If you have two or three new players, or five or six or eight, it doesn’t matter. What we have to be sure is that the 25 players that we will have will give everything.”
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