It’s been a year and a day since Mauricio Pochettino was unceremoniously dumped by Tottenham Hotspur, just a few months after leading them to their first ever Champions League final.
Since then, the Argentinian has been linked with a number of managerial posts at top clubs but still finds himself unemployed.
For a manager whose star was always in the ascendency, from his time at Espanyol, through his years at Southampton and, finally, at Spurs, that he isn’t in gainful employment after so long out of the game appears to be a travesty.
However, Pochettino has consistently said that he’s waiting for the right project to come along.
Reading between the lines, that project is Real Madrid.
Pochettino has never hidden his desire to manage one day at the Santiago Bernabeu, and though there have been rumours of taking the Man United job, and links elsewhere, that’s all they have been. Rumours.
Los Blancos aren’t the force they once were under Zinedine Zidane, and it would be no surprise if this was the Frenchman’s last season at the helm, particularly if they don’t win anything this season.
Real have looked poor in a number of matches. Worn out and lacking in any sort of direction. It’s at precisely this sort of stage that a club should be thinking ahead, and Pochettino is the ideal candidate.
Even if he stays out of work until season’s end, as soon as the Real Madrid job comes up for grabs, there’s only one man for the job.