It takes a lot to faze Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentinian has adapted remarkably well to his mantle as Tottenham’s saviour, transforming the club to title contenders, whatever their current blip says about their sustainability of that goal.
Turning his misfiring side around is going to be one of the biggest challenges he’s faced during his time at the club, and in many ways, Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Rather than looking forward to an innocuous Premier League game this weekend, it’s a trip to Arsenal. Tottenham fans are meeting the prospect of the derby with dread.
Pochettino sounds rather reluctant to ship his players off to the Emirates himself, though it already sounds like he’s waving a get-out-of-jail card.
In short, he insists that Tottenham aren’t in a position to be compared to their rivals, though Sunday’s battle between the two could tell us a lot about their respective hopes this season.
“Arsenal, after 20 years of Arsene Wenger, are one of the most consistent clubs in the world. It’s difficult to compare us with Arsenal,” he said, as per Goal.com.
“We want to be one of the best but we’re still building the training ground, the new stadium and our squad. But you put that away when you compete. We need to be aggressive and try to play better than them.”
Pochettino has been criticised in some quarters for not being flexible enough in his tactics, leaving the Lilywhites looking hopelessly predictable. Yet, it’s easy to forget he’s still got an incredibly young squad, who in the long run may well benefit from such a testing run.
It looks as if Tottenham’s season is going to go one of two ways, and this weekend could be key in deciding whether or not their title challenge fizzles out. As for Arsenal, though, they will have no such worries just yet.