Skip to main content

Mourinho's words inspire Pochettino

January 18, 2013 -- Updated 2030 GMT (0430 HKT)
Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new manager of Premier League club Southampton.
Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new manager of Premier League club Southampton.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mauricio Pochettino has been named as the new manager of Southampton
  • Argentine replaces Nigel Adkins and will take charge of Monday's game against Everton
  • Pochettino revealed he spoke to Jose Mourinho about taking Premier League job
  • Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez express shock at Adkins' sacking

(CNN) -- Jose Mourinho, the self-anointed 'Special One', has been hailed as the man who convinced Mauricio Pochettino to make the move to the Premier League and take the reins at Southampton.

Real Madrid manager Mourinho, who enjoyed a hugely successful time with Chelsea, gave Pochettino a few words of wisdom on life in the Premier League.

The Argentine, who was appointed Friday following the removal of Nigel Adkins, has previously managed Espanyol in Spain and will take charge of his first game against Everton on Monday.

'I hate my social life,' says Mourinho

"I am very passionate about the Premier League," the 40-year-old told reporters.

Assou-Ekotto: Education is key
Pep Guardiola has been on a year-long sabbatical in the U.S. after stepping down as Barcelona coach, but he returned to Europe in January for the Ballon d'Or when he was shortlisted for FIFA's world coach of the year award. Pep Guardiola has been on a year-long sabbatical in the U.S. after stepping down as Barcelona coach, but he returned to Europe in January for the Ballon d'Or when he was shortlisted for FIFA's world coach of the year award.
Time away
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
>
>>
The end of an era: Josep Guardiola The end of an era: Josep Guardiola
José Mourinho on managing star players

"I have seen many games, the Premier League is an attractive league and I have spoken to people at length about it, people such as Jose Mourinho, who is a good friend of mine.

"He told me the best football in the world is being played here. How the league is structured there's a lot of respect towards the other clubs and that has only convinced me to come here, aside from the project that Southampton have offered me, the chance to work in this league I am very happy about."

The move comes as something as a surprise given Southampton's recent good form, which included a fine comeback to draw 2-2 at Chelsea in its last match.

Adkins, 47, arrived at the club when it was second bottom in the third tier before winning successive promotions to reach the Premier League.

The club is currently 15th with a three-point lead over the teams in the relegation zone.

Flying high: Mourinho mentors Cape Verde's 'Special One'

Executive chairman Nicola Cortese has been criticized by supporters for the ousting of Adkins with fans taking to Twitter to register their disgust.

But journalist Gordon Simpson, who covers the club for the Southampton Echo newspaper, says Cortese's decision will ultimately be judged on results.

"The decision to sack Nigel Adkins has obviously come as a shock to many Saints fans," Simpson told CNN.

"It is not a complete surprise, however. It has been rumoured for some time that the chairman, Nicola Cortese, has been considering a change and there has been a sense for a while at St Mary's that Adkins has been living on borrowed time.

"Adkins is an enormously popular figure with the supporters here, and as you can imagine the news has been largely met with a degree of hostility and sadness.

"The timing is certainly strange, with the club having enjoyed a fine series of results and performances in recent months -- two defeats in 12 Premier League games tells its own story.

José Mourinho: 'I hate my social life'
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa on Saturday. It is one of the world's most exciting tournaments including players who ply their trade in some of Europe's top leagues. Among them is Fuad Ibrahim, a young American striker who once played for the U.S Under-17 and Under-20 teams. The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in South Africa on Saturday. It is one of the world's most exciting tournaments including players who ply their trade in some of Europe's top leagues. Among them is Fuad Ibrahim, a young American striker who once played for the U.S Under-17 and Under-20 teams.
American boy
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Ethiopia\'s American boy Ethiopia's American boy
Limited resources
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
High flyer: Cape Verde\'s \'Special One\' High flyer: Cape Verde's 'Special One'

"Obviously, Cortese's decision will ultimately be judged on results. If the club continues to move forward under new manager Mauricio Pochettino's guidance then he will feel vindicated and supporters will quickly come to accept the change.

"But Saints' season is delicately balanced right now, and if results start to regress then the anger and frustration emanating from much of the fan base will only heighten."

Bielsa

Pochettino, who represented Espanyol and Paris Saint-Germain as a player, won 20 caps for Argentina at international level.

Known for his readiness to use young players, he learnt his trade as a 16-year-old under the watchful eye of current Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa during their time together at Newell's Old Boys in his native Argentina.

While at Espanyol, he took a club struggling at the wrong end of La Liga before establishing them as a competitive mid-table team by using the products of an impressive youth system.

Southampton has a good history of blooding young players with Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just a few to have progressed through the ranks in recent years.

Youth

According to David Cartlidge, Spanish football correspondent for Mirror Football, Pochettino's work with the youth players at Espanyol produced excellent results.

"Mauricio Pochettino's work with the youngsters at Espanyol was perhaps his most accomplished work while in Spain," Cartlidge told CNN.

"He understood very well the financial rigours placed upon his club, and reacted by developing a close relationship between them and first team.

"During his four year spell, 23 players were promoted from the youth set-up, the youngest being Paul Quaye, at just 16 years old.

"Not only did he develop players for Espanyol's own gains on the field, but off it too, as several were sold on for considerable profit.

"He would spend hours at Espanyol Sports Complex, going through videos and recording warm-ups to get insight on players.

"But he would also spend time with the young players, working with them just as he did with the first team, making them feel part of things."

Walcott

Meanwhile, former Southampton star Walcott has signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal.

The England international had been linked with a move away from the club, but has put pen to paper following lengthy negotiations.

The 23-year-old told the club's official website: "I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. What's important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
French former football player Zinedine Zidane reacts during the gala football 'Match Against Poverty' organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on March 4, 2014 in Bern.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
ADVERTISEMENT