Pochettino returning to Spurs like Keegan back at Newcastle, warns Carragher

By Sports Desk March 10, 2023

Mauricio Pochettino would be making a mistake by going back to Tottenham as Jamie Carragher believes a second Spurs stint would be akin to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United return.

Pressure is building on Tottenham coach Antonio Conte after a desperate run that has ended their hopes of winning silverware this season.

After back-to-back Premier League victories lifted Spurs into the top four, they crashed out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United, lost at Wolves in the league and then exited the Champions League following a dismal goalless draw against Milan.

With Conte's contract up at the end of the season, it appears likely the former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter boss will soon be departing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino, who spent five years at the club, would be a popular appointment for many fans, and he remains out of work after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

But Liverpool legend Carragher sees concerning parallels with Keegan's 2008 homecoming at Newcastle, where he soon left following a dispute with owner Mike Ashley.

"Never go back. That is what they say in football," Carragher wrote in The Telegraph.

"Mauricio Pochettino would be wise to remember that if he is tempted to return to Tottenham Hotspur.

"Don't do it, Poch. All parties need to move on. Comebacks are usually more romantic than logical.

"Pochettino may see Spurs as the best chance to return to the Premier League. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could curry favour with the supporters by re-appointing a popular ex-manager.

"They must know how rarely old magic is recreated in football."

While noting Carlo Ancelotti has enjoyed a successful second spell at Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho won the title after rejoining Chelsea, Carragher added: "Pochettino returning to Spurs would be like Kevin Keegan going back to Newcastle United.

"Like Keegan's Newcastle in the mid-90s, Pochettino's Tottenham charmed neutrals without winning trophies.

"Keegan's re-appointment in 2008 was greeted like the second coming, but he walked into different conditions and was gone eight months later."

Tottenham finished second under Pochettino in 2016-17, their best performance since the 1960s, and also came third twice.

He was unable to end their wait for silverware, however, losing in the Champions League final in 2019 and EFL Cup final in 2015.

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