Barcelona midfielder Paulinho insists he had no problem with Tim Sherwood nor Mauricio Pochettino during his difficult time at Tottenham.
The Brazilian left Spurs for Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015 after a torrid two years in England. He rediscovered his best form in China and, to the surprise of many, joined Barcelona back in August.
Speaking to The Guardian, Paulinho revealed what went wrong during his time at White Hart Lane.
“I wouldn’t say it was a relief to leave Spurs but it was clear I had to. It was a difficult time,” he said.
“[André] Villas-Boas bought me in July 2013 and in December Villas-Boas goes. He’d wanted me, we’d spoken a lot, and then six months later Tim Sherwood was in charge.
“There was no problem with him – he was very young, a good coach – but the team wasn’t doing well and he came under pressure to change things. He did things a little differently but I still played the last eight or nine games that season.
“Then came the change from Sherwood to Mauricio Pochettino. My first game [under Pochettino] is in my position but after that I played in every position apart from my own.
“He had a different system, and if you’re not in your position in a football as competitive as England it’s difficult. I was playing on the left wing: the míster put me there and I had to play there, because I wanted to play.
“I had no problem with Pochettino. I told him: ‘This position is not mine but if you want I can play there.’ But in the long term you’re not going to be at your best and over the last six months I wasn’t playing regularly.
“I thought the moment had come to leave. Where? I didn’t know. But I wanted to leave. The coach wasn’t trusting in me so there’s no reason to stay.”