New Southampton First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino says his admiration for the footballing philosophy at the club was a major part in coming to England.
The Argentinian Pochettino brings a wealth of international experience with him to St Mary’s having played alongside some of the biggest names in the game, whilst his managerial style will also be familiar to his new club.
“I know a lot about the Premier League and I know that Southampton have done really well,” he told reporters in his first press conference.
“In Spain we follow it (the Premier League) closely. I am a great admirer of English football and I am happy to be here.
“I have the best first impression already and I have been pleased with the professionalism shown at all levels of the club. The organisation, the respect, it has very strong values. I will work with respect, honesty and dedication.
“It all happened really quickly and the small details are not all that important,” he explained of the move. “I am happy to be at this club and a part of this project.
“My name came up in certain conversations and I’m a very curious person, who likes to be informed with what’s happening in the world of football.
“I’m an aggressive manager, in the positive sense, and I like to play dynamic, pressure football with an attacking nature that the fans can be proud of watching their team.”
Another exciting factor for Pochettino is the opportunity to work in the Barclays Premier League, something he is relishing after speaking with former Chelsea manager and close friend Jose Mourinho.
“I am very passionate about the Premier League,” Pochettino said. “I have seen many games, the Premier League is an attractive league and I have spoken to people at length about it, people such as Jose Mourinho, who is a good friend of mine.
“He told me the best football in the world is being played here. How the league is structured there’s a lot of respect towards the other clubs and that has only convinced me to come here, aside from the project that Southampton have offered me, the chance to work in this league I am very happy about.
“The biggest challenge is to win all the games that are ahead of us,” he continued. “That is the mentality that we need to have going into the games as a team. In the background there is a project and we’ll keep on growing together as a club with one of the best academies in the country.”
Pochettino confirmed his intentions to utilise the young talent from the Academy, and eased concerns that there would be any issues with communication between himself and the players despite his limited amount of English.
“Football is an international language and we’ve seen many other examples of this, Guardiola in Germany for example and it’ll be hard for him.
“I hope in the short period of time that I will be able to stand in front of everyone speaking English.
“In the dressing room I will leave behind any shame that I have about not speaking the language and deliver my instructions the best that I can.
“You always have to convince footballers. I was a footballer and I always try to input my own methods and test myself as a manager.
“I’ve met three of the players already and I shall meet everyone else and introduce myself and explain the planning with them for the next few days. I will explain the philosophy that I want them to learn and how we will work together in the future.
“For me, the important thing is the project because I have the trust from the directors. I will be looking to the younger players as well, using the Under-21s.”
Pochettino added that he hopes to build on the foundations that are already in place, but admits his first priority is to make a special bond with the fans.
“I am respectful that there was a previous manager and previous project,” he said.
“The challenge is to be part of this project, the kindness of the supporters is the biggest challenge I have.
“They are the biggest part of this club and I hope I can convince them with honest and hard work.”