Could there be a budding rivalry between Premier League managers?
It may not be at that point yet, but Mauricio Pochettino certainly didn’t take too kindly to recent comments made by his managerial counterpart at Manchester City.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham as the “Harry Kane team” prior to the international break, which Pochettino saw as “disrespectful,” despite the former considering Spurs legitimate title contenders alongside the Cityzens, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Pochettino didn’t hesitate to make his unhappiness known ahead of this weekend’s clash against Bournemouth.
“It was funny when I heard him the other day because I know Pep very well. When it’s exciting after an amazing victory against Chelsea, sometimes [he] can struggle to keep his position and be a gentleman,” Pochettino said.
“That didn’t affect me but the reality is it was very disrespectful for many people and it’s difficult to understand because he was part of the big success at Barcelona with Messi at his best, and I never said it was ‘the Messi team.’ I always said it was Barcelona or Pep Guardiola.”
The Spurs manager quickly turned his attention to the rest of his squad, which he feels has done a fantastic job thus far in the early going of the 2017/18 Premier League season.
Tottenham currently sits third in England’s top flight on 14 points in seven matches, trailing leaders Man City and Man United by five points.
“I think everyone deserves to be recognised as part of the success of the team. But I think many people took those words as very disrespectful for the club, and for many players here I think it’s a strange situation. Personally I didn’t take it in a bad way. It wasn’t disrespectful for myself. Only I express my feeling that, for a lot of people, it wasn’t necessary to say that.
“But I think we need to move on. For me, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers — it doesn’t change anything. And it’s important that our position is clear, to be calm and not be aggressive with our opponents. Our responsibility is massive. But I think it’s important to respect every single opinion and I respect his opinion.
“I think everyone knows how Tottenham is, how Manchester City, how was Barcelona, how Argentina is. It’s a collective sport. Everyone needs to do his job. Of course sometimes it’s difficult, because in the media the temptation is to be focused on some players.Follow @MattReedFutbol