Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez has branded Mauricio Pochettino as “the best coach, best manager and best person” he has ever worked with. The striker also showered his former manager with plenty more praises. The Argentine manager was in charge of Southampton for only one full campaign with the south coast club before coming to Tottenham in the summer of 2014. His job with the English club was only his second in his managerial career, and it was seen as a big gamble. However, he transformed the fortunes of Southampton during these 18 months.
During this period, the incredible success achieved by Southampton was largely down to the presence of forwards like Rodriguez and Ricky Lambert. Even while managing the English duo, Pochettino managed to transform their careers in one campaign. Rodriguez scored 15 league goals in that full season, while Lambert came up with 13. Even though the season ended in a disappointing fashion with Rodriguez suffering a major knee injury, it was a campaign to remember.
Since that season, Rodriguez has struggled to make a successful comeback from the injury. He has managed only 30 appearances in the last two seasons. Pochettino recently spoke about the injury hell suffered by one of his former players. In response, Rodriguez claims that Pochettino is not only the best manager he has worked with, but he is also a remarkable person too. As quoted by the Telegraph, he said:
“Mauricio is the best coach, best manager and best person I’ve ever worked with.
“He knows how much I appreciate what he has done and what he still does for me. He constantly speaks to me. It is nice to hear that he is still supporting me and his staff are the same. He just wanted to improve you as a player and a person.”
“He was always seeing things in a game that you were weak at but he also gave you that belief that you are a good player. He was an unbelievable manager and a person.”
The striker is certainly coming back to his best of late. He scored two goals in the 3-1 win over Southampton and these were his first goals since the second match day of the campaign. The striker was speaking ahead of the game with Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-final. It was a great opportunity for Southampton to reach the final and they grabbed it with both hands by securing a 1-0 win. Rodriguez, crucially, provided the assist for Redmond to score in the 20th minute.
Pochettino revealed that he sent a text to the striker after he scored two goals in the game against Bournemouth. It was a text that contained messages of good luck for the striker, who has had three tough years. He said:
“I was very happy. I sent him a text.I was happy to see him on the pitch again. He suffered a very bad injury.”
The striker has been linked with a move to White Hart Lane consistently in the last few years. Yet, Pochettino has refused to comment about the situation. With the January transfer window going at its peak, there has been no development on the rumours and it looks like the transfer may not happen after all.
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