What answers can Saints fans draw from Mauricio Pochettino's final pre match press conference of the season? (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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What answers can Saints fans draw from Mauricio Pochettino's final pre match press conference of the season?
12:06pm Sunday 11th May 2014 in Sport
Mauricio Pochettino may wish to focus on the here and now but talk over his contract situation continues to dominate as the season draws to a close.
There is little doubt that this summer is a huge one for Saints.
A talented bunch of young players have had a great campaign in which they will finish eighth, led as they are by a bright manager who has a glittering future in the game.
But there is a feeling amongst the squad that they have hit a glass ceiling – they have done all they can and if the club is to improve then significant investment needs to be made in the playing squad this summer.
If that is not going to happen then there could be a few out of the door, with big clubs who can offer huge salaries and Champions League football sniffing around various players, and Tottenham heavily linked with a move for the manager.
Pochettino has always put off contract talk until the end of the campaign, but in his pre-match press conference ahead of the final game of the season against Manchester United today he was heavily pressed about it.
The answers he gave allowed a variety of scenarios to be interpreted.
Pochettino was asked whether the ambitions of the club would hold the key to his future and replied: “The fact is I still have one more year on my contract.
“There is still one more year so the responsibility of being here next season is obvious.
“That’s the reality of the situation right now.”
When that was followed up by questioning as to whether he was therefore committed to seeing out his remaining one year, he said: “I have one more year on my contract and I have to fulfil it. I have to – that’s my obligation.
“Then you see David Moyes at Manchester United, who signed a six month contract, and towards the end of the season that contract was terminated.
“It showed that in football you cannot take anything for granted and you have to try to do as best as you can in the moment and live the moment. In the future nobody knows.”
However, the situation at Saints is not the same as at Manchester United, simply because of Pochettino’s success, which means there is no chance of an imminent sacking.
If Pochettino were to leave this summer it would be of his own choosing and for another club.
“Anything can happen in football. Anything is basically possible in football,” he said when that was put to him.
“What’s normal is not normal and what’s not normal is normal.
“We can talk about this all day long until we are blue in the face but in football what is logical is completely illogical and what is illogical is sometimes completely logical.
“There is no real point in talking about this because anything can happen in football."
Pochettino has had to answer questions over his future repeatedly in the last few weeks, and did admit that perhaps his background in continental leagues means he didn’t quite understand what all the fuss is about.
“I am getting a bit tired of saying it – I still have one more year on my contract,” he exclaimed.
“Perhaps I come from another culture that sees things a different way but in Spain for example a manager signs for one year or two years, no more.
"You don’t sign for five or ten years. It does not happen.
“In football everything is about the present and building on what the present is.
“Everything is also based on results and if you are not getting positive results you are going to be replaced.
“I am focussing on improving and trying to do what’s best.”
It seems so much goes back to those end of talks and the plans of the board, and what their hopes and ambitions are for the club and how they want to make them happen.
Pochettino admitted: “The first thing that we need to do is analyse what has been happening at this football club and what is happening right now and see how far this football club can go.
“Everyone involved with Southampton, the whole club and the supporters, deserves to know.
“That will happen. Those talks will happen.
“It’s clear right now that there’s a project that is finishing. These five years are finishing.
“At the end of the season we will sit down and talks will be had and it will clear the air once those talks happen.”
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