COMMENT: Lay off Poch

Daily Echo: Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino

This might not be a popular thing to say with some of my media colleagues, but Mauricio Pochettino should ignore any criticism and continue to use a translator for his interviews for as long as he needs.

One of the questions I get asked most often as a journalist who covers Saints each and every day of my working life is ‘when will Pochettino start speaking English?’ The truth is he already does. In fact he speaks it pretty well.

He doesn’t require a translator for day to day interaction with the players, in fact he could conduct his interviews in English should he so wish.

But there is a very big caveat to that.

If you want Pochettino to speak in English then you can forget getting the kind of answers you do right now.

Pochettino’s football English, and his conversational English, is perfectly fine.

However, when he is facing up to the media, which is then what the world sees, he is asked some fairly complex questions. And, in fairness to him, he responds with well reasoned, well thought out and complex answers.

To get your English to such an exacting level of detail takes plenty of time and practise.

You have to accept that maybe Saints don’t quite get the TV coverage they deserve as the broadcast media don’t like using quotes from him through a translator.

But the alternative is only ever getting a few bland pleasantries, rather than the honest and detailed responses he currently gives.

Nothing makes me despair more than when a journalist who doesn’t normally cover the club wades into a press conference and asks him when he’s going to start speaking English.

None of us want to see his translator, David, out of work because he’s a good guy who is becoming part of the fabric of the club at the moment.

But more importantly the media’s duty is not purely to themselves but the fans who are their customers.

The reasons we have press conferences is to ask questions and relay the answers – it might make prettier TV if Pochettino spoke in English but it wouldn’t be half as enlightening for the supporters.

My colleague from the Press Association, Simon Peach, broached the subject with Pochettino very sensitively and sensibly yesterday.

Simon is a big Saints fan and certainly somebody who concurs with these thoughts.

Pochettino eloquently explained his motivation.

“It’s clear that if I were to answer more simple questions I could give also more simple answers, I wouldn’t have any problem with that,” he said.

“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-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.”

At that point he broke into English.

“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.”

Ultimately all that matters is Pochettino’s success with the players, and that is unquestionable right now.

He’s a good bloke, a charismatic and interesting person and somebody who is prepared to explain himself. Surely that’s what every fan wants – a genuine insight from the team’s manager. Nigel Adkins was criticised for not giving that - in English.

Those knocking him should lay off and think about the alternative.

Comments (20)

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6:54am Fri 13 Dec 13

Prit says...

Well put that man. I don't care if he coducts his interviews in Martian. I just want him to carry on the fantastic work he is doing with our team !!
Well put that man. I don't care if he coducts his interviews in Martian. I just want him to carry on the fantastic work he is doing with our team !! Prit

7:15am Fri 13 Dec 13

Mr. Miyagi says...

Prit wrote:
Well put that man. I don't care if he coducts his interviews in Martian. I just want him to carry on the fantastic work he is doing with our team !!
Spot on Sir. Knowing what the media are like historically in this country, they only want him to speak English so they can dig some dirt from anything he says out of place. The translator is his voice to the media, and he makes sure they cannot twist his words. As already said, is makes no difference to me, we all know he speaks English to the players. As long as they understand him, which they obviously do, that is all that matters.
[quote][p][bold]Prit[/bold] wrote: Well put that man. I don't care if he coducts his interviews in Martian. I just want him to carry on the fantastic work he is doing with our team !![/p][/quote]Spot on Sir. Knowing what the media are like historically in this country, they only want him to speak English so they can dig some dirt from anything he says out of place. The translator is his voice to the media, and he makes sure they cannot twist his words. As already said, is makes no difference to me, we all know he speaks English to the players. As long as they understand him, which they obviously do, that is all that matters. Mr. Miyagi

7:18am Fri 13 Dec 13

saint christopher says...

Far better this way than having some bloke like Strachan who thinks he can speak English but who you struggle to understand one word in six.
Far better this way than having some bloke like Strachan who thinks he can speak English but who you struggle to understand one word in six. saint christopher

7:41am Fri 13 Dec 13

promised land says...

I don't blame him one bit talking in his native tongue. Many in the media especially the written press, glory in tripping-up manager/players with their line of questioning, to sensationalise a story for their own means.
As long as the manager gets the players to perform well, that's fine by me.
I don't blame him one bit talking in his native tongue. Many in the media especially the written press, glory in tripping-up manager/players with their line of questioning, to sensationalise a story for their own means. As long as the manager gets the players to perform well, that's fine by me. promised land

8:10am Fri 13 Dec 13

manosussex says...

The results say all that needs to be said
The results say all that needs to be said manosussex

8:32am Fri 13 Dec 13

circa 66 saint says...

His 1st language is football of which he probably has a MASTERS DEGREE
His 1st language is football of which he probably has a MASTERS DEGREE circa 66 saint

8:38am Fri 13 Dec 13

SaintAsh1964 says...

MoPo communicates better than the Signer at NM Memorial!
MoPo communicates better than the Signer at NM Memorial! SaintAsh1964

9:05am Fri 13 Dec 13

St Retford says...

manosussex wrote:
The results say all that needs to be said
Precisely. Manager interviews are overrated, anyway. When was the last time one of them said anything memorable, in any language? It was probably Kevin Keegan's "I-would-love-it" on-air nervous breakdown, and look how that ended up.

Keep on whatever it is you're doing MoPo - we bloody love you.
[quote][p][bold]manosussex[/bold] wrote: The results say all that needs to be said[/p][/quote]Precisely. Manager interviews are overrated, anyway. When was the last time one of them said anything memorable, in any language? It was probably Kevin Keegan's "I-would-love-it" on-air nervous breakdown, and look how that ended up. Keep on whatever it is you're doing MoPo - we bloody love you. St Retford

9:30am Fri 13 Dec 13

Sebastian Rutter says...

I wonder how many of these sports journalists would be capable of learning a new language to business fluency in a year?
I wonder how many of these sports journalists would be capable of learning a new language to business fluency in a year? Sebastian Rutter

9:43am Fri 13 Dec 13

ian redhill says...

Paul Lambert at Villa needs a translator I turn the telly off when he comes on, cant understand a word he says
Paul Lambert at Villa needs a translator I turn the telly off when he comes on, cant understand a word he says ian redhill

10:44am Fri 13 Dec 13

Buddy SFC says...

What an eloquent article !! Spot on MoPo .............. Take as long as you need !
What an eloquent article !! Spot on MoPo .............. Take as long as you need ! Buddy SFC

11:05am Fri 13 Dec 13

HorndeanSaint says...

I always said that this may well be something that NC and MP agreed to do, NC being the astute businessman that he is.
How many time do you hear the "taken out of context" and "lost in translation" excuse? No such mistakes here.
I for one find MP's interviews far more interesting and enlightening than most other managers, leaving aside my understandable bias to Saints of course!!
I always said that this may well be something that NC and MP agreed to do, NC being the astute businessman that he is. How many time do you hear the "taken out of context" and "lost in translation" excuse? No such mistakes here. I for one find MP's interviews far more interesting and enlightening than most other managers, leaving aside my understandable bias to Saints of course!! HorndeanSaint

1:04pm Fri 13 Dec 13

andoru says...

I quite like that he doesn't interview in English. He remains an enigma, to us and the press, and thus is harder to read and more likely to surprise. And I am more than happy for him to surprise the opposition. Keep hablo that espanol Pochettino.
I quite like that he doesn't interview in English. He remains an enigma, to us and the press, and thus is harder to read and more likely to surprise. And I am more than happy for him to surprise the opposition. Keep hablo that espanol Pochettino. andoru

2:47pm Fri 13 Dec 13

boilerman says...

He has heard what scum our media is , so he is playing a clever game.
As long as he can communicate with the players , which it seems he can then why bother about the press, they only look for a negative story anyway.
Our performances do the talking for him.
Keep it up Poch.
He has heard what scum our media is , so he is playing a clever game. As long as he can communicate with the players , which it seems he can then why bother about the press, they only look for a negative story anyway. Our performances do the talking for him. Keep it up Poch. boilerman

3:52pm Fri 13 Dec 13

lowe esteem says...

FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush)
What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is.

Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not.

These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You
FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush) What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is. Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not. These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You lowe esteem

4:51pm Fri 13 Dec 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

If it really matters that much try taking lessons in Spanish.
If it really matters that much try taking lessons in Spanish. OSPREYSAINT

7:02pm Fri 13 Dec 13

HorndeanSaint says...

lowe esteem wrote:
FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush)
What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is.

Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not.

These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You
Wow. Very dark lord esque as your user name would imply.
[quote][p][bold]lowe esteem[/bold] wrote: FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush) What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is. Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not. These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You[/p][/quote]Wow. Very dark lord esque as your user name would imply. HorndeanSaint

7:15pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Crossley Place Saint says...

I'm not so sure about this. Most questions asked at pre- and post-,match press conferences are not "complex". They are very formulaic. "what did you think of the penalty appeal"; "was he offside"; "are you confident about Saturday's game" etc. They deserve formulaic replies that should be readily manageable for a non-native speaker of English. Much more important is what goes on on the training ground and in the dressing room, especially at half time when therre are only 10 minutes to get your points across. What language is used then? Is there an interpreter there?
I'm not so sure about this. Most questions asked at pre- and post-,match press conferences are not "complex". They are very formulaic. "what did you think of the penalty appeal"; "was he offside"; "are you confident about Saturday's game" etc. They deserve formulaic replies that should be readily manageable for a non-native speaker of English. Much more important is what goes on on the training ground and in the dressing room, especially at half time when therre are only 10 minutes to get your points across. What language is used then? Is there an interpreter there? Crossley Place Saint

7:52pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Positively4thStreet says...

ian redhill wrote:
Paul Lambert at Villa needs a translator I turn the telly off when he comes on, cant understand a word he says
Villa are rumoured to be thinking about making a bid for Poch's translator,in the January window.
[quote][p][bold]ian redhill[/bold] wrote: Paul Lambert at Villa needs a translator I turn the telly off when he comes on, cant understand a word he says[/p][/quote]Villa are rumoured to be thinking about making a bid for Poch's translator,in the January window. Positively4thStreet

6:16pm Sat 14 Dec 13

lowe esteem says...

HorndeanSaint wrote:
lowe esteem wrote:
FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush)
What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is.

Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not.

These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You
Wow. Very dark lord esque as your user name would imply.
D'you know, I didn't like that red-faced duck-shooting chump too much? I do quite like Mo Po, even though he struggles to start the best three Saints players (together) in our recent history and therefore sacrifices valuable points on the altar of 'saving bodies'.
Hey Ho, I may have missed something in translation, eh?
[quote][p][bold]HorndeanSaint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lowe esteem[/bold] wrote: FFS - whilst the false trails to the Media hounds is a very laudable justification, what a load of old Michael German striker this is- or Peter Welsh Liverpool legend whatever. (Ballach or Tosh to you Mush) What a nauseous, sycophantic, creeping, non-story this is. Still our marvellous 'fans' manage to 'support' whilst slagging off two past legends in WGS and Nige again, thus buying into the Cortese airbrush brigade. I'm sorry, I'm having enough trouble with my Doctor already, you come over here, you speak our language, please, nice interpreter or not. These things will not go unchallenged. But well done Mr Poch on your job thus far, more goals please. Thank You[/p][/quote]Wow. Very dark lord esque as your user name would imply.[/p][/quote]D'you know, I didn't like that red-faced duck-shooting chump too much? I do quite like Mo Po, even though he struggles to start the best three Saints players (together) in our recent history and therefore sacrifices valuable points on the altar of 'saving bodies'. Hey Ho, I may have missed something in translation, eh? lowe esteem

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