Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp feels Mauricio Pochettino may benefit from a move elsewhere, but he expects him to stay and turn around their poor start to the season.
In the last month, the Champions League runners-up have been beaten by League Two Colchester in the Carabao Cup, thumped 7-2 at home by Bayern Munich in Europe and lost 3-0 at Brighton.
Despite Spurs’ wretched form Pochettino is among the managers currently being linked with Manchester United should they call time on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troubled spell in charge.
However, Redknapp believes the Argentinian would only ever leave Spurs if the Real Madrid job became vacant.
“I still think they’ll finish third,” Redknapp told the PA news agency. “They’ve got a fantastic squad, they’ve got cover everywhere and they’ve got international players everywhere.
“As a manager, I learned from a great manager in Alec Stock, he always said you have to change the players every couple of years or they change you.
“The same message every year becomes stale. You can only keep saying the same things so many times.
“Maybe five or six years in Pochettino needs a fresh start. He’s a great manager, but maybe it’s time for a change for him as well.
“But I don’t think he’ll go. Not unless the Real Madrid job comes up. I’m sure if that came up that would be a great job for him.
“But I think he’s happy that he’s got a great job at Tottenham.”
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Former Chelsea and Arsenal stopper Petr Cech made his ice hockey debut for Guildford Phoenix on Sunday and thanked some fans of his former clubs who he could hear in the crowd.
Cech, 37, was keeping goal for the Phoenix – the reserve side of the British National League outfit Guilford Flames.
The game went to overtime with the score at 2-2 and Cech was the hero in the penalty shootout with the save that secured victory for the Phoenix.
Cech has signed up to play while maintaining his new role with Chelsea as their technical and performance advisor.
“Yeah, you know it was amazing to see there were a few Czech flags and there was quite a big group with the Czech ice hockey jersey,” said the former Premier League icon.
“Some Chelsea fans, Arsenal fans as well. So it was it was pretty nice to see all these people turn up.”
Cech revealed he had actually wanted to play ice hockey instead of football as a kid, adding: “I wanted to play ice hockey over football but as you said we couldn’t afford all the gear, so in the end my parents took me to football.
“So I was skating pretty much all the time but I didn’t (inaudible), you know because of football I didn’t really have time to play ice hockey. So I was doing it as my hobby and when I could.
“And then obviously for about 25 years I couldn’t at all because I didn’t have time and when I was in France and when I came to England I didn’t know this here existed. So for about 25 years I couldn’t really do it.”
Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov believes English football has a bigger problem with racism than they do.
The build-up to Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia has been dominated by concerns over possible racist abuse at Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski.
England players were victims of racism on their last visit to Bulgaria in 2011 and Gareth Southgate briefed the squad about the UEFA protocol on dealing with such issues at the start of the international break.
The players have also been speaking about the issue, which enraged Bulgarian football Union president Borislav Mikhaylov to the point that he said English players should face sanctions from UEFA if they continue to talk about the possibility of racist abuse in Sofia.
Mikhaylov spoke of “unjust” comments being made by England and manager Balakov, whose initial answer on the matter was that he did not want to talk about the topic, shone a light on the visitors’ own issues with racism.
“What I can say is that I don’t think we have a problem,” he said.
“In the Bulgarian championship, we have a lot of players of different ethnicities and skin colour. I don’t think that we have this big problem like, for example, England do.
“I would like to focus on football because at the end of the day we’re all civilized Europeans and we’re all working for this sport and that’s all the matters.”
Asked to clarify his remark on England, Balakov said: “What I meant was that in the Bulgarian championship we’ve not had such problems.
“While there have been incidents in various levels of English football involving racism, which I consider something normal because it’s a big country with a very diverse population.
“But we don’t have this problem in Bulgaria, I can assure you of that.”
Southgate has repeatedly said that England need to get their own house in order and recently referenced the racist abuse at the National League clash between Hartlepool and Dover.
Pushed on whether England players have anything to be worried about, Balakov said: “Once again, it’s not an issue that has happened recently in the national team games, meaning racist chants or whatever.
“I would once again advise people to think and talk about football because this is the reason why we’re actually here. And we should not discuss something that has not even happened yet.”
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