Mauricio Pochettino might be losing his touch as a football manager, but he’s still nailing the important stuff, which is talking well for the journos at press conferences. Plus some more Liverpool guff because there always is.
You could be forgiven for thinking things are a bit, well, sh*t at Chelsea right now. They’re in the bottom half of the table despite spending a billion quid on their team, and the manager is facing revolt from players, fans and players’ wives.
Mauricio Pochettino pretending not to understand why Chelsea (languishing in mid-table, conspicuously awful for most of the season) got more criticism for losing at Liverpool than Liverpool (top of the league, losing for only the second time all season) got for losing at Arsenal might also have suggested things weren’t going well.
But fear not, Chelsea fans! Kieran Gill of the Mail is here to reassure you all is well, with an astonishing bit of fan mail from Pochettino’s latest press conference. Mediawatch will never not enjoy the sight of journalists treating press conference pleasantries as more important than trivialities like results or performances or whatnot.
A few highlights:
This was half an hour of pure ‘Poch’, still smiling, still joshing, still conjuring up wild metaphors in the way that only he can.
Conjuring up wild metaphors in the way that only he can, you’ll never sing that.
One particularly energetic monologue saw Pochettino explain — with a little encouragement from the ever-polite Perez — why he is not going grey amid all the chaos surrounding his club.
Energetic monologues, your manager could never.
There was no sense of panic in Pochettino, despite Sunday’s 4-2 home defeat by Wolves and the questions which followed yesterday.
The Liverpool stuff sounded a bit panicked, to be honest.
A more petulant manager might have got the hump with Tuesday’s line of questioning. Maybe even make a hasty exit, like Jose Mourinho when he lost ownership of this room.
Yet Pochettino smiled his way through yesterday’s press conference, conducting it all with his usual charisma.
And that’s the real quiz. Smiling and joking with the press pack.
Pochettino is hoping one of his current Chelsea crop will stand up tonight, too, as he looks to buy the time that this project needs to prosper.
Sadly, it’s not recorded whether Gill was able to ask a question of his own at any point during this performance that captivated him so. We only assume it would have been “Mr Pochettino, your reign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?”
Can you dig it?
The Liverpool Echo are still seeking mileage from Sunday’s game at the Emirates, and are at least not policing any celebrations which is definitely something. This headline, though.
Gabriel Martinelli aims dig at Trent Alexander-Arnold after Liverpool defeat to Arsenal
Actual Martinelli quote: “We knew that was the area of the pitch that we could get something from. Me personally I always do well against Liverpool.”
Think we’re very much in the territory here that really requires this to at the very least be termed a ‘subtle dig’.
Magnificent mischief from the Daily Express in a piece of tish and fipsy about Spurs new boy Lucas Bergvall.
Tottenham new boy Lucas Bergvall has already sent clear message after ‘cancelling deal’
Now we’re sure any implication in this headline here that the cancelled deal might be the one he’s just signed at Tottenham is surely entirely accidental. They’ll be so upset when they realised they’ve inadvertently made it sound like that and got Spurs fans all clicking in a panic.
But what is the deal he’s cancelling anyway? It’s in quotes, so it’s definitely a real thing that exists, right? They must be quoting someone and it must very definitely be a deal that has been cancelled.
Lucas Bergvall personally took charge of his club future by cancelling a move to the Bundesliga in January, according to reports.
Hmm. We’re already not sure about this. Had a move to the Bundesliga been agreed? Had it really got to the point of a ‘deal’ that could be ‘cancelled’?
According to Bild, Eintracht Frankfurt tried ‘extensively’ to haul a deal over the line, even drawing up a long-term plan for Bergvall’s spell in Germany.
So they were interested? And tried to sign him? But didn’t? Lads, this is not what ‘cancelling deal’ means and the worst thing is we think you know this.
It wasn’t enough to turn the dial in their favour, though, as the 18-year-old pulled the plug on talks with Frankfurt once his move to Tottenham was finalised.
He stopped talking to other interested clubs once he’d agreed to join a different one? That truly is a clear message.
The Mirror have an update on the next Liverpool manager, because that’s still a thing that’s going to rumble on for the rest of the season.
Xabi Alonso confirms Liverpool stance as ‘first approach made’ to replace Jurgen Klopp
In fairness to the Mirror, and to our enormous surprise, the ‘first approach made’ is a reasonable enough summary as long as you’re happy to take at face value the Foot Mercato article they’ve got their information from. But you’ve probably already worked out he has in no way confirmed any Liverpool stance whatsoever and has instead declared himself happy at Bayer Leverkusen and focused on winning the Bundesliga title.
Because that’s what he’s already said and really is the only possible thing he can say right now. And if he did say something more revelatory, you can be sure it would not be couched in a ‘confirms Liverpool stance’ style headline.
Still. He’s confirmed a Bayer Leverkusen stance, if anything.
While we’re here, though, we also very much enjoyed the following bit of Google translation on that original source article:
This season, Bayer is leading the Bundesliga and holding its own against the Munich ogre.
They’ve put a Shrek in it.
On-brand headline of the day
Neil Warnock kicks off at ball boys as Aberdeen boss loses first game back in management