As with any book released relating to a player or manager, they will always create a storm with revelations over previous events. Step forward Mauricio Pochettino.
The 45-year-old is the subject of Guillem Balague’s latest book, ‘Brave New World’, and extracts have been gradually leaked with the Daily Mail picking up Pochettino recalling how he reacted to former Tottenham star Kyle Walker wanting to leave the club.
Walker joined Manchester City for £53m this past summer, as per The Guardian, and it’s fair to say that Pochettino was far from impressed with his desire to move and has revealed how he reacted to the initial conversation he had with the 27-year-old England international.
“Walker came to my office after the Watford game,” he recalls in the book. ‘Gaffer, I’ve been at Tottenham for nine years. I’ve thought about it and my heart isn’t here any more. Nor is my head. I’ve given all I have to give. I wanted to tell you before I tell my agent that I want to leave this summer.’
“I considered it to be an alarming lack of respect for his team-mates and a slap in the face for the club. None of that could be explained to the public at the time. I had to bite my tongue. From that point, the rumours started to proliferate.”
On one hand, it’s difficult to really fault Walker in this situation. He wanted to move on, came to Pochettino directly and had an open and honest dialogue with the Argentine tactician.
However, the Spurs boss certainly makes a great point in that the timing wasn’t particularly great, as Walker could surely have focused on the rest of the season instead of creating an issue with such a crucial period in the campaign still to come and waited until the summer to express his desire to leave.
It remains to be seen whether or not Walker responds after this as he’s been pretty vocal on social media in the past, while it’s worth considering book sales might have something to do with this as Pochettino surely still enjoys a decent enough relationship with his players, current and former, having been so fundamental to their progress.
Tottenham will need to take the next step sooner rather than later though in terms of their bid to win major trophies, as Pochettino could be facing more situations like the Walker one in the future if they don’t.