Mauricio Pochettino has accused Pep Guardiola of showing a lack of respect towards Tottenham Hotspur. The Manchester City manager referred to them as “the Harry Kane team” after his side’s 1-0 win at Chelsea on 30 September and it was badly received at Tottenham, even though they are proud of their in-form striker’s prominence.
Pochettino described Guardiola’s comment as “sad” and “unnecessary”. There is no love lost between him and Guardiola, with Pochettino even suggesting that his rival “struggles to be a gentleman” when he is on a winning run and riding high. Pochettino also brought up Guardiola’s success at Barcelona, which was inspired by Lionel Messi, and he noted how he had never called them “the Messi team”.
“I know Pep very well and when he is excited, after an amazing victory against Chelsea, sometimes he struggles to keep his position and be a gentleman,” Pochettino said. “The situation didn’t affect me but, in reality, it was very disrespectful for many people.
“It’s difficult to understand because Pep was part of the big success at Barcelona, when it was Messi at his best. And I never said it was the Messi team. I always said it was Barcelona and it was Pep Guardiola. I think everyone deserves to be recognised as being part of the success of the team.
“I think that many people took his words as very sad and disrespectful to the club. And for many players that are here – it’s a strange situation. Personally, I didn’t take it in a bad way. It wasn’t disrespectful to me. I only express my feeling that, for a lot of people, it was unnecessary to say that.
“We need to move on. For me, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers. It doesn’t change anything for me. And I think it’s important that our position is [to] be clear, be calm, not be aggressive with our opponent. Our responsibility is massive. But I think it’s important to respect every single opinion and I respect his opinion.”