Victor Wanyama exclusive: ‘Mauricio Pochettino should be the next Tottenham manager not Chelsea’

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Former Tottenham star Victor Wanyama said Mauricio Pochettino will always be a “father figure” to him who “improved his game massively”.

Former Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama would give everything to see Mauricio Pochettino coach Spurs again, despite strong reports linking him to the Chelsea job.

The Kenyan first came across Pochettino during his time at Southampton, where they formed a relationship that extends beyond a manager and his player, before being reunited when Pochettino brought him to north London in 2016.

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Hugely underrated and often underestimated, Wanyama was the base of a midfield trio that had Mousa Dembélé and Christian Eriksen establishing Spurs as a constant top-four side during the club’s most successful period in Premier League era.

Since leaving Tottenham, Wanyama has kept a close eye on north London and like most fans says Spurs should not let one of their own go to Chelsea.

He exclusively told LondonWorld: “I get it and I get how the fans feel and Poch (Pochettino) should be the manager of Tottenham next season not Chelsea.

“I can understand the frustration within the fanbase because they know Pochettino gave every and I believe if there are two offers on the table between Chelsea and Tottenham, then the Pochettio I know will choose Tottenham.”

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 Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mauricio Pochettino,  (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images) Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mauricio Pochettino,  (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mauricio Pochettino, (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images) | Getty Images

If Pochettino does go to Chelsea, as has been widely reported, he will become the first manager to have coached Tottenham first before going on to manage Chelsea during the Premier League era.

Glenn Hoddle was the first to take charge of both clubs before Andre Villas-Boas followed suit, recently Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have joined the list of going from south-west to north London, but Pochettino would be the other way round.

Chelsea are in a mess, sitting 12th in the league table, with 32 first-team players including 18 who have been brought in since American billionaire Todd Boehly and his Clearlake Capital consortium took over from Roman Abramovich, who was forced to sell the club over the Ukraine war.

This is the summer of all summers and a total reset is required, which is why the Chelsea board is leaning towards Argentine manager Pochettino. He took over a Southampton side that was in a mess and transformed them. He also took Tottenham from a position of despair, and against the odds qualified for the Champions League final and gave fans almost five years of top-level satisfaction on and off the field.

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Antonio Conte has left Tottenham, with Mauricio Pochettino one of the candidates to replace him. (Photo by Daniel Leal/Clive Rose/Getty Images)Antonio Conte has left Tottenham, with Mauricio Pochettino one of the candidates to replace him. (Photo by Daniel Leal/Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Antonio Conte has left Tottenham, with Mauricio Pochettino one of the candidates to replace him. (Photo by Daniel Leal/Clive Rose/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Wanyama who was a key part of what most fans describe as the best period under Levy, says he can understand why the Blues want to hire his former manager.

He added: “To be honest all I want is for Poch to be happy and to get back to doing what he loves the most and what makes him happy, so if he’s happy then I’m happy.

“He will always be a mentor to me and a father figure to me, he showed me the game and improved my game massively.

“And we’ve been through so much together so I can only support him with whatever decision he makes, I know football is strange because you can end up where you don't expect but we are still human after football and it will always stay like that.”

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Victor Wanyama joined CF Montreal from Tottenham in 2020 and has since made 64 appearances in the MLS.  He helped the club to victory in the Canadian Championship last season.Victor Wanyama joined CF Montreal from Tottenham in 2020 and has since made 64 appearances in the MLS.  He helped the club to victory in the Canadian Championship last season.
Victor Wanyama joined CF Montreal from Tottenham in 2020 and has since made 64 appearances in the MLS. He helped the club to victory in the Canadian Championship last season. | Getty Images

Tottenham's season has unraveled spectacularly, from a position of progress where they qualified for the Champions League, ENIC has pumped in £150 million to help with new signings to a point of distraction where they have hugely underperformed, sacked Antonio Conte, seen Fabio Paratici’s ban on Italia football extended globally and now having to rely on Ryan Mason to see out the campaign.

But Since Mason took over from Cristian Stellini, the team has shown proof of life. They battled well to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Manchester United and were incredibly unlucky not to have picked up a point against Liverpool, having come from three goals down to tie 3-3 before a Diogo Jota last-gasp strike won it at Anfield.

Wanyama knows Mason from his time at Spurs and recalls how everyone at the club was always willing to help when he fractured his skull playing for Hull City.

He tells LondonWorld that despite Mason being at Hull when the injury occurred, you could see most of the staff at Spurs were concerned because he came through the ranks at the club and left a huge impression on everyone.

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“I remember when he got that injury and it was not easy for him,” Wanyama says. “But I believe he got good support from his family and the club was really supportive, so it made it manageable but the first few days were not really great and you could see it in the faces of all the staff who knew him and were close to him.

“I remember when it was announced he could not play anymore, it was a massive shock to us all in the dressing room, and at the time Spurs were concerned and helping out too.

“But one thing about Mason and I think we all have to learn it is that he’s a really good person who will go out of his way to make you feel better after a game so I think he gets it back with the opportunities.

“He will be a great manager because I remember Pochettino helped him a lot and he was mentoring him and Mason took advantage of that and he also got close to Antonio Conte and to have these two managers with you, man he can only get better.

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“I think I wouldn’t be surprised to see him being a mixture of those two managers. He has so much experience in management and has worked with two top managers so the sky is really the limit for Mason and I don’t know anyone who deserves such opportunities.”

Brighton’s win against Manchester has seen them jump ahead of Spurs with two games still in hand, so the last slot for European football next season will be a straight battle between Aston Villa and Spurs, and with Mason having the job till the end of the season before a substantive manager is named. Getting Spurs to win some games and playing for the badge will go a long way highlighting Mason's credentials and possibly putting him in good stead for future jobs.

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