Antonio Conte: Tottenham senior man can be one of world's best, Spurs title contenders
By Matt Farr
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte believes Mauricio Pochettino can become one of the world’s best managers.
Pochettino arrived in the Premier League in 2013 with Southampton, but in just three years in England’s top-flight, has already established himself as one of the league’s best.
The 44-year-old is currently manager of Chelsea’s rivals Tottenham, whom he joined in July 2014, and ahead of the meeting between the two sides on Wednesday night, has been praised by Blues chief Antonio Conte.
Despite the massive rivalry between the two clubs, the two managers appear to boast a strong relationship, and they will be looking forward to testing themselves against each other on Wednesday.
Conte told the Sun: “I saw the training ground and spoke with him. We spoke about our ideas of football and there are similarities between us.
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“We both like to play from the back with possession and to finish quickly when we get opportunities. We both like to prepare well and have different solutions.
“Pochettino is showing he can be one of the best coaches in the world. He’s doing a fantastic job at Tottenham and they are a team that can fight to win the title in the present and in the future.”
The Spurs boss is yet to lift any silverware during his time at White Hart Lane, but his success is apparent on other fronts.
Pochettino has established a very good defensive unit, and Tottenham are second only to Chelsea as the Premier League’s tidiest defence this season with only 14 goals conceded from 19 games.
Last season, Spurs came within touching distance of the Premier League title, only to fall away at the final moments and finish third. However, despite missing out on their first league title, a return to the Champions League was a major success for Pochettino.
They are currently maintaining a strong challenge for the top-four, and find themselves just two points behind north London rivals Arsenal, with a game in hand.
Pochettino’s good work with both Southampton and Tottenham has seen him twice linked with the manager’s post at Manchester United, first as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, and later to the sacked Louis Van Gaal – only to be pipped by Jose Mourinho.
He can add a victory over a dominant Chelsea side, one that have won 13 consecutive games this season, to his list of triumphs if his Spurs side come out on top at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.
In other Tottenham news, Swansea have acquired the services of these two Tottenham figures.