By Richard Parks
Paul Merson has hailed Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino as “just unbelievable” and on a par with Harry Kane as the key figure at the club.
Asked to rank the managers of the Premier League’s top six as four prepare to showdown on a huge Sunday of football, Merson placed Pochettino as second only to Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.
The Arsenal legend put Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho in third ahead of fourth-placed Antonio Conte from Chelsea, fifth-placed Jurgen Klopp from Liverpool and with Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger lagging in sixth.
Pochettino’s Tottenham travel to Crystal Palace in their rearranged fixture on Sunday as they aim to maintain their quest for a top-four finish.
Spurs are fifth in the Premier League, but just four points adrift of second-placed Man United, and remain in the Champions League and FA Cup competitions.
“I think what he’s doing at Spurs is just unbelievable,” said Merson, as quoted by the Sky Sports website. “He’s not breaking the bank and steadily going along, it’s phenomenal.
“Tottenham have all these players on five-year contracts and that is testament to what a great manager he is. They might not have won anything but he is building a fantastic foundation.
“My biggest worry with them is if Real Madrid don’t win the Champions League then they could come in for Harry Kane and Pochettino.”
Pochettino has transformed the fortunes of Tottenham since taking the reins of the club, steering them to second last season after finishing third 12 months earlier.
In other Tottenham news, it can be exclusively revealed that a centre-back has agreed contract terms with Spurs.