Press conference

 ‘He has all the ingredients to go a long way’

He is arguably the best Tottenham manager that Arsene Wenger has had to face in his time at the club - but what does the boss think of his opposite number?

Read on for extra quotes from Thursday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the north London derby:

on if he sees some of himself in Pochettino…
I don’t know, I don’t want to judge people. I think he’s done an exceptional job and he’s a good manager. After that, in our job it’s the distances and the quality that make the difference. He has all the ingredients to go a long way but overall it’s very difficult to know and to predict what will happen in his career.

on if he could have Wenger’s longevity…
I don’t know. He will certainly be a manager for a long time, but that’s down to everybody’s choice. How long do you want to go? How long will you have the health and the confidence of people? That goes very quickly now.

on if there was an overreaction to Tottenham finishing above Arsenal…
We won the FA Cup and we made 75 points so overall I think our achievement was quite positive even if it was a disappointment for us not to finish in the Champions League for the first time in 21 years.

on the players being disappointed to finish below Tottenham…
Yes [they were disappointed], but not to finish below Tottenham. To finish outside the top four was a big disappointment, because it was the first time in the history of the Premier League that with 75 points you don’t finish in the top four. I still feel it was very harsh on us but people forget we won the FA Cup in a very stylish way, playing against City in the semi and Chelsea in the final. When a team is close to making the double, usually they make it but we finished the season in a very strong way. So overall I believe that it was a disappointment to finish outside the top four.

on if the proximity of clubs in the table gives him extra motivation…
No, the real motivation for me is to do as well as we have the potential in our team to get to the maximum of the potential. The target is not to compare to Tottenham.

on the ‘balance of power’ concept…
It is a question you have to answer and the only way to answer it is on the pitch. The conclusion of people will be the comparison of the two performances on Saturday. We have a good opportunity to show we are the strongest, so lets do it.

on his message to the fans…
Just to support the team and stand with us for 90 minutes. That’s what you want from your fans and that’s what I’m confident they will do.

on the fans being united for a derby game…
Maybe in this fixture it is less important because it will be natural for them, but in other fixtures yes.


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The Emirates FA Cup
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