Soccer

Pochettino: I'd like to be like Arsène Wenger

26 November 2017 - 00:00 By afp

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his desire to emulate Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger by staying at Tottenham Hotspur for 20 years.
The Spurs manager said it was "massive praise" to be compared with Wenger ahead of last week's north London derby at the Emirates Stadium, adding that the 68-year-old Frenchman was a "special" manager and one of football's great innovators.
The emergence of a string of youngsters at Tottenham, and their energetic style of play, has prompted comparisons between Pochettino's work at the club and the early years of Wenger's 21-year reign at Arsenal.
"What he is doing at Arsenal and as a manager, I would like to be like him one day," he said. "Twenty years at Tottenham."
Pochettino's side last season finished above Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time since Wenger took over in 1996.
"In football history he is one of the great managers, the same level as [Alex] Ferguson," Pochettino said. "Everyone who talks about him needs to show respect. For me, he will always be a special manager.
"To stay 20 years in a club and stay always at the top is not easy. To stay in a club for five years is because you are a good manager, if you stay 10 years it is because you must be very good. But to stay more than 20 years is because you are special."
He added: "Wenger was an innovator, ahead of everyone, like Ferguson. It is difficult to innovate but you must try to create a project under your ideas and philosophies to take you ahead of other clubs."
Meanwhile, he insists he has no problem with Danny Rose's angry response to being dropped for the north London derby, but he warned the England leftback he isn't afraid to make more big selection decisions.
Rose, 27, admitted he was "fuming" at being left out of the squad for Spurs' 2-0 defeat at Arsenal last weekend before returning to the starting line-up for this week's Champions League victory at Borussia Dortmund.
Though Rose was adamant there was no row with Pochettino, his frustration continued a trend of publicly airing his grievances.
Rose has made just four appearances this season, and only one Premier League start, after losing his place to Ben Davies. He was fined in the close-season and forced to apologise for an interview in which he criticised the club's wage structure and hinted he wanted to leave.
The 45-year-old Argentine has already shown he won't tolerate unfocused players by selling Kyle Walker to Manchester City after the England rightback had his head turned by an approach from Pep Guardiola's side.

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