‘Brave New World’ is so much more than the purported diary of a season. It explains Pochettino’s philosophy, approach to man-management and gives fascinating insight into how he has been able to knit together a team which earlier this month played Real Madrid off the Wembley pitch.
However, ahead of the north London derby, Wenger was almost dismissive of the suggestion that he might pick up a copy.
“No, I have not read it,” he sniffed. “Because I have no time, not because it is not interesting. And because I have a good experience of managing…”
His own resolute way, of course. Others, have had different experiences. Is there not some worth in learning from those?
“Look, I have nothing against it,” Wenger said. “I am open-minded to it. But I have not much time in my schedule.”
For very different reasons, Pochettino is unlikely to be able to benefit from Wenger’s written pearls of wisdom any time soon. The Frenchman is adamant there is little chance of him committing to paper until after he finally finishes his managerial career.
“Would I consider a book while I was a manager? No, not at the moment,” Wenger said. “Because I don’t like to talk and not tell the truth.
“As long as you are in work, you cannot really tell what is going on. Just to sell a book? I have no interest. If it is to tell really what I think about the game and what I think about some aspects of our game, I will do it. But at the moment it is impossible.”
Until Wenger chooses to pour forth his soul in print we have to rely on the weekly press conferences to gauge his mood, and this week it could not have been more awkward.
He had been spotted rolling up his right sleeve and rubbing a large bandage on his elbow. “Can I ask what you have done to your elbow?” one reporter enquired.
“Nothing!” Wenger insisted.
“But you have got a big bandage on your elbow,” the persistent scribe continued.
“No, I haven’t got it any more, you know.” Wenger was adamant.
“I have just seen it when you rolled up your sleeve…” You could not mistake the note of incredulity.
At this point, and not for the first time – Liverpool this season, Bayern Munich twice last season – Wenger’s defence caved in completely.
“Yes, it was a bit swollen from repeated exercise,” he finally admitted sullenly. “Repeated exercise,” Wenger repeated. “Elbow. Today it is a bit swollen. Not more.”
The fact Wenger is so guarded, so worried about admitting to any sort of frailty or imperfection, is worrying to say the least. It speaks volumes of a tortured mind, straining with every sinew to hold everything together. Every minor detail is ground to be fought over.
Hours later, just three junctions clockwise around the M25, Pochettino oozed confidence and openness.
“The players have arrived back from international duty in very good condition,” he said. “There was a lot of laughing and the atmosphere is very good in the training session.
“We spoken about it before, we think they miss each other a lot. That is good for us.”
He even felt the need to defend his opposite number. “Everyone who talks about Wenger needs to show respect first of all, and then it’s opinions about football,” Pochettino said. “Some days you’re good, some days not so good.
“But respect before talking about him because more than 20 years at a club, that’s special. You must be special.”
Source : EXPRESS