By support

Pochettino delivers verdict on huge Premier League rival

By Emma Sanders

Mauricio Pochettino has opened up about his admiration for Arsene Wenger despite the rivalry between Spurs and Arsenal.

Wenger has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996 and only Sir Alex Ferguson has matched his dominant 20-year reign in the Premier League.

Speaking to ESPN Argentina, as reported by the Mirror, Pochettino revealed he believes Wenger has “special talent” while discussing the influence Wenger and Alex Ferguson have had on him as a manager.

“To know how to reinvent oneself can be done only be people who have enormous talent, as is the case with Arsene Wenger,” said Pochettino.

“You have to recognise that to be in charge for more than 20 years, you have to have special talent.”

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The 44-year-old joined Tottenham in 2014 and has overseen huge progression at the club during his reign, including a third-place finish in the league last season.

Spurs are currently the only team in English football to remain unbeaten so far throughout the 2016-17 campaign and have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just six league goals.

The two London teams went head-to-head last Sunday in the Premier League but had to settle for a goal each in a tame encounter and it was the sixth time the two managers have faced off.

Pochettino’s side take on West Ham this Saturday and will hope to mount pressure on Arsenal who currently sit in fourth place in the table, just three points ahead of Spurs.

Tottenham have not finished above Arsenal in the Premier League since 1995, the season before Wenger took over, but with the current squad, Pochettino hopes to break the curse.

In other Tottenham news, the return of Toby Alderweireld could prove even more important to Spurs than Harry Kane.