Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has hailed “special” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ahead of the north London derby on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Wenger is currently the Premier League’s longest-serving manager and last month he celebrated 21 years at the helm – winning three league titles and a record seven FA Cups.
The Frenchman has also enjoyed great success against rivals Tottenham during his tenure, ensuring his side finished above their north London rivals for 20 consecutive campaigns, a run which ended last season.
Pochettino said: “He [Wenger] is a fantastic manager, I respect him a lot and admire him.
“Of course, if you see the history, Arsenal was above Tottenham in the last 20 years. He deserves a lot of credit for that.
“To stay at a club five years, is because you are a good manager. If you stay 10 years, you must be very good. But to stay more than 20 years, it is because you are special.
“I admire him a lot, he is a very special manager.”
Ahead of Saturday’s game Wenger dismissed the idea his side are underdogs and Pochettino was in agreement, saying there is no favourite in a derby.
After 11 games this season Arsenal are four points adrift of third-placed Spurs, who under the management of Pochettino are unbeaten at the Emirates.
Pochettino said: “Arsenal is a great team. For me, there is not a favourite in this type of game.
“He [Wenger] knows better than me, the derby is not only about performance, not only about playing well or not so well.
“It means a lot for our fans and means a lot for their fans. Always, it is special to play.
“It is not important what level you arrive into the derby. The derby is special and anything can happen.”