Early Doors

Pochettino stuns press conference by speaking ‘sustained English’

Mauricio Pochettino is the classic case of a foreign manager who has excellent English but hides behind his ‘language difficulties’ when talking to the media.

What the media long suspected to be true was confirmed this week though when he stunned reporters by finally talking in English without his interpreter.

However, Pochettino waited until the cameras were switched off before his big breakout - as it came while speaking to the written press - and it is unlikely that we will see the Southampton manager speaking in English on video any time soon.

That is because Argentine has said he will continue to use an interpreter in press conferences in order to get his point across succinctly - not because he cannot speak the language.

Ever since his surprise arrival in January, the former Argentina international has spoken through a Spanish translator when doing media interviews.

But, after 11 months on the south coast, the number of people asking why he is not yet speaking English is growing, even if results on the field do not suggest problems with communication.

Pochettino does, in fact, speak to players and staff in perfectly good English and explained an inability to express himself fully is the only reason he still uses an interpreter.

"It's clear that if I were to answer more simple questions I could give also more simple answers," he said.

"I wouldn't have any problem with that.

"The fact is I have an interpreter because he gives me the security that, when I have to answer complex questions, and with my complex answers, it's much better I have an interpreter to make sure nothing is misconstrued.

"I am having English lessons and I should be having more English lessons.

"I don't see it as an excuse, but I do spend from 7am to 8pm at the training ground working all day long, so that doesn't give me much time left to have extra English lessons.

"I do also learn a lot from the players and the people at the training ground. They speak to me in English and that's positive for me so I am progressing."

Perhaps just to hammer home the point, Pochettino then finally broke into sustained English for the first time in front of the media.

"Communication at the training ground is good but outside in my life is not easy," he said.

"All the time I improve a lot of words and different sentences, but it's not easy to communicate with you (the media) and in front of the cameras is too difficult."

PA Sports