Football

Ardiles hails Pochettino's impact

After six games without a win and with a North London Derby looming against an Arsenal side in red-hot form, Tottenham Hotspur fans could be excused a familiar sense of dread as they head to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

Former Spurs great Osvaldo Ardiles, however, believes that in fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham boast a manager who can banish the inferiority complex they have suffered against the Gunners since Arsene Wenger took charge 20 years ago.

The disparaging term "Spursy" for a succession of sides who were good on the eye but folded under pressure can be put to rest, added the 64-year-old, who also had a spell as Spurs manager.

"He has changed the philosophy of the club and the atmosphere, transformed the club," Ardiles told Reuters at the launch of the book Down Memory Lane in London this week.

"When he arrived, he had a tough job on his hands. A lot of players were not 'Tottenham' players and he got rid of most of them and created a team that are now competing for honours.

"He qualified for the Europa League, then the Champions League in the second season. Now people are expecting more and more. That's exciting and a great challenge."

Pochettino's side are undefeated in their opening 10 Premier League games this season but, since beating Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, a succession of draws has seen them slip back.

But Ardiles said that Pochettino will get them back on track.

"His formula is pretty simple," Ardiles said. "He always demands 100 per cent, so any player giving only 95 is not for him.

"Doesn't mean they are bad players or bad apples, simply they are not into the work ethic that he demands. You go to the training ground, you can see it's a family.

"There is an air of confidence and togetherness now at the club that I've not seen for a long time."

UNITED KEEN?

Ardiles says victory at Arsenal tomorrow would give Spurs the platform to mount another title challenge which would put Pochettino on the radar of other clubs.

Some reports said Manchester United were keen last season.

"Mauricio came to me last season and showed me a paper saying his agent was in talks with United," Ardiles recalled.

"He said, 'Ozzie, I haven't even got an agent'. He's a solid guy. I would say leaving doesn't cross his mind.

"He's happy at Spurs. He'll fulfil his ambitions there." - Reuters.

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