Let me start by clearly stating that I have no ITK, no idea about buy-out clauses, no inside info on whether Real Madrid’s interest in our Poch is…er….real.
I do, however, have a good idea about what Poch brings to a team under his management, as do all of you. It’s a philosophy based on bloody hard work, ultimate fitness and technique, and bringing a feeling of togetherness and a real team ethic amongst what in essence is a bunch of overpaid kids.
What I don’t get, is how that translates to being a manager of Real Madrid, the ultimate in overpaid, narcissistic prima-dona’s, where managers have to gain the ultimate success or are shown the exit door.
We know that Poch operates a “my way, or the highway” management style. The exits of Ade, Kaboul and Lennon early in his tenure prove that he doesn’t care about experience or ego’s, he cares about his philosophy, and if players don’t toe the line, they are out.
I can just imagine the first day at the training ground.
“Cristiano, we defend as a team.”
“Benzema, I expect you to chase down defenders at every opportunity.”
“Ramos, Marcelo, you will hold your shape, defensive duties come first. Especially you Sergio, no more runs into attacking positions that leave massive holes in our defence”.
We’ve all heard the stories, existing and ex-players talking of running until they are sick, the most intense training sessions they’ve ever experienced.
Rickie Lambert sums it up pretty well.
“It wasn’t the [training on] Fridays that was a shock, it was the Mondays when I’d played 90 minutes [at the weekend],” Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.
“We would come in and to everyone else it was just a three-quarter kind of pace, like a jog to three-quarter pace, we used to do 12 horseshoes.
“But to me it was three-quarters and above, I was like ‘what on earth is going in here’ I just could not cope.”
Shocked by the intensity at which Pochettino had his players working after a matchday, Lambert and former Saints defender Jos Hooiveld looked to persuade their manager to change his ways.
“I thought, it was me and Jos Hooiveld who actually had the bottle to go into his [Pochettino’s] room and pull him to one side, very respectfully.
“I said ‘Mauricio listen, I understand what you’re trying to do but I just think you’re pushing us too much on a Monday and you need to calm it down, we’re not used to it so maybe build it up a bit later.’
“Mauricio was dead polite he said ‘yes, that’s fine I understand’ – we shook hands, I went out and we went back to the lads made up thinking ‘yep, just done it for you boys, next Monday gonna be sorted.
“So, played the game [the next weekend], 90 minutes again, come in Monday, not only did we do 12, we did 24 runs – 24 runs and I just knew, I was running around laughing and almost crying and I knew what he was doing, he was breaking me and he did, he broke me.”
How on earth will the Galactico’s of Real Madrid react to that kind of treatment?
Then there’s new signings. You only have to spend 5 mins on Google to see the kind of players RM are interested in.
“Welcome to Real Madrid, Neymar. We are very pleased to have you here, but remember, you sign for this club to train, I decide if you play or not based on your efforts.”
And why the hell has Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid? One of the original Galactico’s, he holds the club dear to his heart, and has just won 3 CL’s on the bounce. We all know that RM managers don’t choose the players they sign, have hardly anything to do with contracts of existing stars, and most of the time have less power than players like Ronaldo and Ramos.
Does any of this sound like a club that is a perfect fit for our Poch?
I’m guessing not. I’m hoping not. We’ll soon find out.