London (AFP) – Mauricio Pochettino insisted Arsene Wenger should focus solely on Arsenal after the veteran manager appeared to have a dig at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Prior to Arsenal’s League Cup semi-final win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger — who has come under fire regarding the Gunners’ failure to win the Premier League title since 2004 — said pundits “celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years”.
The Frenchman’s comments were taken as a thinly-veiled criticism of Tottenham and Liverpool, both lauded of late for their attacking football but who have managed to win just two trophies between them since 2008.
“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 told reporters on Thursday.
“Praise? Of course we receive praise. Football is not only to win trophies, it’s the circumstances of different clubs.”
The Argentinian added: “For me he (Wenger) 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.
“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, 20 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, are away to fourth-tier club Newport County in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, with the competition representing their best chance of 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.”
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