The Leeds coach has had a profound impact on the sacked Tottenham manager’s philosophy, and has expressed his belief that he will soon bounce back.
Mauricio Pochettino will go on to manage “one of the best teams in the world” and deserves enormous credit for his work at Tottenham, according to Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa.
The sacked Spurs boss is one of the many top-level managers to have been influenced by Bielsa, with the ex-Lille boss having coached Pochettino during his time at Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina.
The respect is clearly mutual, with Bielsa expressing his sadness at seeing Pochettino sacked and suggesting his achievements in north London had been underrated by some.
“The work Pochettino has done is brilliant,” Bielsa told a press conference.
“In the last year he put Tottenham at a high level in the world. This for any manager is a big achievement.
“For me, it’s more important because the team that played the final of the Champions League was a team he built very carefully.
“The performance of this team was linked to the collective play built between him and his players rather than top players bought for them. They didn’t buy top players.
“This reality makes the work of Pochettino even more important. Something professional like that acquires one credit absolutely deserved.”
Bielsa was also keen to add that the team Pochettino left behind was well set up for successor Jose Mourinho to thrive with – but that Pochettino would find his own way back to the top soon enough.
“Maybe he could not enjoy this achievement at Tottenham,” he added. “Maybe because I do not know the real situation, but he will take this credit because big clubs in the world will try to take him. This manager will lead one of the best teams in the world.
“I like and love him a lot. It upsets me. When something not good happens to him I cannot ignore this.
“In 15 days he will be at the top again because when you see the things from afar, after you can see what you realise what he really achieved.
“What I say now doesn’t link with the relationship I have with Mauricio and everybody will realise when he takes the next team.
“Now he leaves a team that is attractive to Mourinho. This is a big achievement. The next team he receives will create that respect.”
Bielsa isn’t alone in his high appraisal of Pochettino, with former Spurs midfielder