LONDON. — Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has urged his players to work hard at making history rather than waste time talking about it. Pochettino’s side host Watford today in a position of strength only supporters of a certain age will be able to recall at White Hart Lane.
They will kick off in third place in the English Premier League soccer table, behind leaders Leicester and Manchester City, who will have just completed a match against each other earlier in the day. Tottenham have not been English champions since 1961 or even realistic challengers since the mid-1980s, and have qualified for the Champions League just once, in 2010.
Pochettino’s players, currently five points behind Leicester, have the opportunity to become White Hart Lane legends therefore, but the Argentinian was in no mood to make predictions. “In football, in my experience, it’s better to show than to speak,” he said.
“In football when you speak too much only you can wait for the worst. It’s important to show more than to speak, and to do something more than you say ‘I will do this’.
“What we’ve shown from the beginning of the season is a signal that we are in a very good way.
“We’ve arrived in this moment because we’ve worked very hard from the beginning and we cannot do something different in the future — we need to keep the same way.”
A 3-0 win at Norwich on Tuesday moved Spurs ahead of Arsenal, who had drawn 0-0 at home to Southampton. Arsenal have finished above Tottenham every season since 1996 and many Gunners fans jokingly like to celebrate “St Totteringham’s Day” — the point in each campaign when it becomes mathematically impossible for Spurs to overtake them.
Ending that run would improve Pochettino’s status as well but he insisted: “It’s not my main motivation.
“I can feel that this is very important for our supporters, for all the people that love Tottenham, to be above them because the reality is they’re our sport enemy and you can feel that.
“But for me it’s very important to care about our goals or objectives and not think too much about our opponents. We’re the most important people, we need to try to keep our way and it’s not important what Arsenal do, or Manchester City or Leicester or different clubs.”
Jamie Vardy’s 18 goals have propelled Leicester to the summit and he is leading the race to finish as top scorer.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane is joint second with 15, one goal ahead of the man the Spurs defence must watch closely today, Odion Ighalo.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez both have 13.
Pochettino believes England duo Kane and Vardy are now on a par with Argentina superstar Aguero.
“Today I think that Vardy and Kane show big quality, or the same qualities as Aguero,” Pochettino said.
“It’s true that all are different and come from different circumstances. But today Vardy and Kane are in the same level as Aguero.” — AFP.