This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Shock, horror, talkSPORT are at it again.
Adrian Durham, the professional controversy merchant, said on Thursday that Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur’s manager, could walk away after the game against Arsenal on Sunday.
Citing “rumours” that he’d heard – a quick search on Google showed that there were no such rumours doing the rounds in the press – he said that, win, lose or draw, Pochettino could be calling it a day after five years.
Let’s unpack this.
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First of all, Pochettino signed a new five-year contract in 2018. It is reported to be worth over £8m-per-year. To walk away from over £40m would be tantamount to negligence on his part; if he didn’t want to stay, why did he sign the deal?
Sources at the club, when asked about the possibility of Pochettino leaving, laughed it off. Football FanCast was told that there is next to no chance of Pochettino leaving. Those within the club actively snorted at the idea of his departure.
But this is what talkSPORT does.
There is an age-old Hunter S Thompson passage about politicians who concoct a disgusting falsehood about an opponent. They know it isn’t true. But they go ahead with leaking it to the press because it forces their opponent to deny it.
The same is true here.
Think of the swirling stories that will come of Pochettino denying his planned exit. It won’t just be talkSPORT gaining clicks out of it; he’s been asked the question, he’s answered and on the news cycle spins.
It could potentially form the basis of Sky Sports’ coverage ahead of the north London derby this weekend, too.
It is ridiculous, really, and should stop.
Durham can say whatever he likes and get away with it because, as soon as the next show comes on, it’s forgotten about.
It is yet more evidence that they really don’t know what they’re talking about, and simply say whatever they fancy whenever they get near a microphone.