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Friday 13 December 2019

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino tells Arsene Wenger to focus on his own team

Wenger’s comments were taken as a dig at Tottenham and Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino has urged Arsene Wenger to focus on his own team
Mauricio Pochettino has urged Arsene Wenger to focus on his own team

By Tom Allnutt, Press Association Sport

Mauricio Pochettino has told Arsene Wenger to keep quiet about Tottenham and insists all the praise heaped on Spurs is deserved.

Before Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger said pundits “celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years”.

His comments were taken as a dig at Tottenham and Liverpool, who together have lifted only two trophies since 2008.

Pochettino took exception to Wenger’s analysis.

“I’m so young and only five years in the Premier League, in two clubs Southampton and Tottenham, but there’s no point to talk about another team,” Pochettino said.

“Praise? Of course we receive praise. Football is not only to win trophies, it’s the circumstances of different clubs.

“For me he is and will always be one of the best managers in the world, I respect him, but I think he needs to talk for himself and for Arsenal.”

Arsene Wenger

Pochettino added: “For me he is a special manager, but everyone sometimes makes a mistake and for me he made a mistake to talk about us or a different team.”

Tottenham travel to League Two promotion hopefuls Newport on Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Cup, which realistically now represents Pochettino’s best chance of winning silverware this season.

“We have to be ready to fight and put ourselves in the same level as them,” Pochettino said.

“The same motivation, no complaints, no excuse-finding, we try to believe that we are going to play against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the Champions League.”

Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have returned to training after recovering from hamstring and knee problems respectively, but this weekend could come too soon for the pair.

Newport share their pitch at Rodney Parade with two rugby teams, Newport and Dragons, meaning the surface may not be kind to players just coming back from injury.

Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris will be assessed after suffering from illness last week while Serge Aurier (calf), Harry Winks (ankle) and Erik Lamela (gluteus) are all doubts.

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe could make the squad.

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