Pochettino: Spurs make “a big statement” with Man United win

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Mauricio Pochettino is fed up with Tottenham being overlooked among the other title contenders.

Manchester City is a favorite given their dominating performance last year. Liverpool looks like a dangerous juggernaut. Chelsea looks revived under Maurizio Sarri. With those three earning plenty of praise, Tottenham has been left out of the elite group, and Pochettino’s had enough.

“This can appear some big statement to say, ‘OK, we are here’ to show that we believe in ourselves,” Pochettino said in his post-match press conference. “[We showed] Good character.”

Tottenham is one of four teams atop the Premier League table on nine points through three matches, an unblemished record. It wasn’t exactly pretty at times, but the win over Manchester United in the end was comprehensive.

“I think it’s so important because it puts us in a very important position in the table,” Pochettino said. “Another negative result today and it’s open again, [people would say it’s] difficult for Tottenham to win away from home against the top six again.”

Spurs took a lot of flak after not signing a single player this past summer transfer window, the first Premier League team to do so. Still, they look a cohesive unit. There are still some things to sort out as Danny Rose looked shaky defensively, Toby Alderweireld had some nervy moments, and the team squandered a host of chances in the first half, but overall Spurs deserved the three points on Monday.

Pochettino said the true strength of the team showed through as they searched for a second goal after going ahead, instead of bunkering in and protecting the lead. “Manchester United is a great team and it’s not easy to play and come here,” he said. “Maybe it’s easy to score but after 1-0 you want to play safe and say, ‘OK, come on, let’s play safe and finish the game 1-0’. But I think the character and the personality of the team was to trying to find the second and the third. I think that is why we fully deserved the result and the players all the credit.”