By Dominic Toner
West Ham defender Jose Fonte has delivered a glowing verdict on Tottenham trio Mauricio Pochettino, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama after working with them all at Southampton.
Spurs travel to the London Stadium on Friday night in the Premier League and are desperate for maximum points in their pursuit of the title.
The north London club have now won their last nine consecutive games in the top-flight and are chasing down Chelsea.
Meanwhile, West Ham have endured a difficult season and are just 15th-placed in the league table, despite qualifying for the Europa League in the last campaign.
The Hammers defender Fonte has given an inside verdict on the Spurs trio after previously working with them and has heaped huge praise on them.
“Pochettino is a great manager and I don’t need to speak much about him because you can see the job that he is doing,” Fonte said, as quoted by the club’s official website. “He helped me a lot when we worked together and improved me, and I can only say ‘Thank you’ for what he did for me, but we’re on opposite sides now!
“Alderweireld is a great player and we had a great season together [in 2014/15], while Wanyama is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, so what can you say? They are great guys.”
Manager Pochettino left Southampton after just one season and had Fonte as his captain, but they will be in competition on Friday.
The Spurs boss has fast become renowned as one of the most talented in English football and has built a squad that are competing for the title.
Meanwhile, defender Alderweireld is recognised as one of the best centre-backs in the league and is an ever-present in the side.
Spurs midfielder Wanyama is another regular feature and he has made a huge impact since his summer arrival and build a formidable partnership alongside teammate Mousa Dembele.
West Ham ace Fonte should be able to advise his current side about the threat of Spurs and may know a few tricks off the training ground to help.
In other Tottenham news, Graham Roberts has delivered a glowing verdict on Spurs’ 25-year-old.