Despite playing under the Argentine for a little over 18 months, the striker – who has just earned a dream move to Liverpool – has thanked his former manager for his influence
Rickie Lambert has hailed the impact Mauricio Pochettino has had on his career after leaving Southampton for boyhood club Liverpool.
The striker’s €5 million move to Anfield has seen him return to the club he left as a youth player 17 years earlier, and can now look to impress for his country at his first ever World Cup.
And Lambert insists the Argentine – who also recently left Southampton to manage Tottenham – taught him not only how to play as a striker but also how to improve his game when up front on his own.
“It is quite the journey. The way it has gathered momentum, it’s frightening,” Lambert told The Telegraph.
“Everything went my way at Southampton and each manager that came in improved me massively and especially Mauricio. He taught me how to be a different kind of player and I think that’s helping now.
“I never really got taught to be a striker in the first place and then I never got taught how to be a lone striker. He taught me how to be the lone striker and the thing that I was doing wrong most was the fact I thought I had to show for everyone on the pitch.
“Whoever had the ball, I felt I had to run over and show for the ball, get on the ball. He was saying ‘take your time’ and ‘wait until the right people have got on to the ball’ like Adam Lallana and others further up the pitch. After that, I had an understanding of how to play that position a lot better.”
Lambert is a boyhood supporter of Liverpool and spent five years at the club’s academy, leaving when he was 15, and is now excited at being able to finally prove himself at Anfield.
He continued: “I wasn’t expecting a chance at Liverpool… now that I’ve got it I will do everything to not let it go and I am more than confident that I will take the chance and I will be able to improve my game again.
“I’ve done that every season. I’m going to do everything I can to get onto the next level now. Even though I’m 32 I feel like a kid again. The fact that I’m playing under Brendan Rodgers and for Liverpool, I just can’t wait.”