Pochettino on Rose's 'Google' jab: People didn't know me either!
LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino did not see the funny side of Danny Rose's suggestion that he has had to "Google" some of Tottenham's signings, and the manager claimed he has no say in what the left-back and his teammates are paid.
Rose broke ranks this week in an explosive interview in which he said he is worth more than Tottenham are paying him and would consider an offer from another club. The 27-year-old also urged the club, which is yet to make a summer signing, to buy big-name players -- and "not players you have to Google."
Under chairman Daniel Levy, Spurs have tended to sign young players with potential, including Rose himself in 2007, or foreign players untested in English football -- an approach supported by Pochettino. Established internationals like Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Moussa Sissoko have tended to flop at Spurs.
Pochettino said that he has accepted Rose's apology and he reiterated that the club would sign players before the close of the transfer window.
But asked if Rose would have to "Google" the new additions, Pochettino pointed to the signings of Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon, Dele Alli from MK Dons or Leicester's signing of last season's PFA Player of the Year N'Golo Kante, now at Chelsea, from French club Caen.
"That is not a joke. When you sign players like Eric Dier, who are internationals today, nobody knew him. Or Dele Alli who was in League One or Kante. I don't think it's a matter to joke about because with some of the international players today, maybe one or two years ago, none of us knew them very well," Pochettino said.
"And when I first arrived here [in England], people wanted to know who Mauricio Pochettino [was] too. If you remember five years ago, people said 'who is Pochettino?' I'm sure they used Chrome or Google or Yahoo to find out!
"But the problem with that was that straight away [the results] was the penalty against Michael Owen [in England's 1-0 victory over Argentina in the 2002 World Cup]. That situation killed me! But it's ok -- look now!"
Rose's sentiment has reportedly been backed by other members of the Spurs' squad, who feel that they too should be paid more than Levy's strict wage structure allows.
Pochettino, who was speaking at a news conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Newcastle, took the unusual step of answering many of the questions in Spanish, asking his assistant Jesus Perez to translate.
Asked if he was trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire caused by Rose's remarks, he replied in English: "Me add fuel? No, no, no. I'm tired. I need Jesus to work a little.
"You need to understand that he [Rose] gave his opinion," he continued. "And then to know that you need to ask every single player if they are happy or not happy. I don't understand why I have to answer this question because the player has [shown] regret and has apologised for that he said regarding everything.
"I'm relaxed because when you see the team and players they are so focused," he added. "We were focused from the beginning of preseason to challenge and try again to prepare ourselves to compete in a very tough league, I think the toughest league in the world. When you see the team so relaxed and so calm and focused to prepare for the game on Sunday that is the most important thing for me to feel. If I feel that why can I be nervous?
"I think the team are very united. You [the press] have access to the other players so you can ask them. I have no doubt about the team."
Asked if he could influence what the players are paid, Pochettino said: "I'm not involved in negotiation, no. I leave that to the chairman. [Arsene] Wenger has the capacity to decide to give contracts and do whatever he wants to do as he's been there 22 or 23 years."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.