Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has discussed his relationship with Arsenal boss Unai Emery, labelling the Spaniard a “very good friend.”
Ahead of the next round of the Carabao Cup which sees the two London rivals drawn against each other, the 46-year-old boss revealed how highly he thought of the new Gunners boss.
“It will be an exciting game, I am excited to face Arsenal and Unai Emery who is a very good friend of us, to challenge and to face all the coaching staff,” said the Argentinian speaking at a press conference (via Football.London).
“He has a great coaching staff, and is a very good friend of us. I think he is a top manager with a top staff and of course he is doing and is going to do a great job at Arsenal. So happy to face Arsenal and adding that we are going to see Unai with all his staff who are good friends,” added Pochettino.
When asked of Emery’s qualities, the Spurs boss added, “I think he is one of the greatest managers. Of course it is always good to challenge them, like Pep on Monday or Manuel tonight and I have great respect for him and the coaching staff and of course, it is a little bit ironic that our worst enemies in West Ham and Arsenal but I love Manuel and Unai and we have a very good relationship.”
The two managers have met each other in Spain when Pochettino was managing Espanyol and Emery was with Valencia.
However, the Spurs boss’ record against the former PSG manager is not promising. Having faced each other seven times – Pochettino has lost four of those games to the now Arsenal manager.
Emery has transformed Arsenal this season to genuine title contenders following Arsene Wenger’s reign and the Gunners sit comfortably in fourth in the Premier League table.
Pochettino’s Tottenham sit one point and one place behind their North London rivals and have had a fairly inconsistent season surrounded by stadium woes, injury concerns and links to the managerial position at Real Madrid.
The Argentine has worked wonders with a shoestring budget and he will be hoping to take the final step and finally win a trophy this season.