Mauricio Pochettino worried he will be labelled a ‘traitor’ for taking England job


    Mauricio Pochettino is keen to replace Gareth Southgate after the World Cup (Picture: Getty)
    Mauricio Pochettino is keen to replace Gareth Southgate after the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

    Mauricio Pochettino is worried he will be labelled a ‘traitor’ for taking the England manager job.

    The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss has reiterated his interest in the role having already made clear he would like to replace Gareth Southgate.

    Southgate has been in the job since 2016 and has led England to a World Cup semi-final and a runner-up finish at Euro 2020, their best-ever performance at the latter tournament.

    But regardless of how England perform in Qatar, with the 2022 World Cup set to get started on Sunday, it has been reported that Southgate may step away when it reaches its conclusion and Pochettino has been heavily linked with the role.

    It has been almost 10 years since the Argentine arrived in England as a manager, taking charge of Southampton where he developed young English players.

    After just a year in charge of the Saints he left for Spurs, where he managed from 2014 until 2019 and led the north London club to the Champions League final.

    He was ultimately sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho as Pochettino then took two years out of the game before returning to management with PSG.

    Mauricio Pochettino registered 20 caps for England's rivals Argentina as a player (Picture: Getty)
    Mauricio Pochettino registered 20 caps for England’s rivals Argentina as a player (Picture: Getty)

    Pochettino spent a year and a half managing PSG, winning the Coupe de France and Ligue 1 title before the club and manager decided to part ways.

    Asked if he would only manage Argentina, Pochettino told The Athletic: ‘No. Argentina has amazing coaches, but it is about timing also.

    ‘I have no problem to manage another international team.

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    ‘Of course, my relationship with England… It has been 10 years since I arrived at Southampton, trying to help develop young players for the national team.

    ‘I feel so comfortable here, you never know. It is a difficult question because if I say yes, in Argentina they will say I am a traitor.

    ‘But that is football you know. You never know what can happen. I am open to anything.’

    England and Argentina are intercontinental football rivals, with their fixtures sometimes marked by notable and controversial incidents.

    MORE : Aaron Ramsdale makes prediction about England team-mate Bukayo Saka at World Cup

    MORE : Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher predict World Cup winner and England’s fate

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