Spurs boss Pochettino feels he will be a better manager after lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson
Mauricio Pochettino believes he will be a better manager after his two-hour lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson, gushing that “every word, every sentence, was a big lesson”.
Eyebrows were raised on Tuesday when Pochettino was pictured leaving Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair with former Manchester United manager Ferguson, given speculation earlier in the season that he has been in the frame to replace Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.
However, the Argentine confirmed his commitment to Tottenham two days later, signing a two-year contract extension which is due to keep him at White Hart Lane until 2021 – and he feels the meeting will help him to do a better job at Spurs.
“Of course, of course,” said Pochettino. “You can read a book, but when he is in front of you with the charisma and the personality, you understand why he is Sir Alex Ferguson.
“The paparazzi took the pictures and it was not secret. I learned a lot. It was two hours and it was very emotional. It was fantastic. Every word, every sentence he told us was a big lesson.
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“When we met him at the LMA President’s Dinner we had a short chat and we both said, and Jesus (Perez, Pochettino’s assistant) as well, that it would be good to meet one day when there is a possibility, and take a lunch.
“I think to be honest both of us were interested to know each other. It was fantastic to hear him, to listen, to hear him speak about football and about life.
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“I have met with different managers in my career - for 17 years I was coached by different managers. But Ferguson was always special and different - 26 years at the same club, a club like Manchester United.
“It was difficult for me to sleep that night because it was fantastic to meet him. When you have people who inspire you or are a big reference for you...
“We laughed a lot because when I was at Espanyol, because I remember in the media: ‘Maybe Pochettino will be the new Ferguson at Espanyol’. When you remember all that and after that you have him in front of you, it is very emotional.
“We spoke about different things. I invited him to come here [to the training ground] and he would like to come. I think it is fantastic.”
Pochettino and Ferguson, who has a passion for wine and built up an extensive collection during his time at Manchester United, shared a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino 2011, which costs £114 at Scott’s.
“We had a very good glass - but only one,” said Pochettino. “Jesus had three. It’s true.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs