Football

Pochettino slams 'disrespectful' Pep

Spurs boss unhappy with Guardiola's 'Harry Kane team' comment

TOTTENHAM BOURNEMOUTH

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is unimpressed by Pep Guardiola's suggestion that Spurs are over-reliant on Harry Kane, saying he was never disrespectful to the Manchester City manager by calling Barcelona a "Lionel Messi team" when he was in Spain.

Guardiola referred to Tottenham as the "Harry Kane team" when assessing City's title rivals in the wake of his side's victory over Chelsea before the recent international break.

Pochettino, who has played for and later managed Barcelona's city rivals Espanyol, said yesterday that Guardiola struggles to "be a gentleman" after a victory.

"What he said was disrespectful to many," the Argentinian told a news conference.

"It did not affect me, but was very disrespectful for many people. He was part of the big success at Barcelona with Messi at his best and I never said it was 'the Lionel Messi team'."

Pochettino, whose team are third in the table and take on Bournemouth at Wembley tonight, said Guardiola had not yet apologised.

"Maybe after the press conference, he calls me. I am sure I will reply... I know Pep and, when he is excited after an amazing win, he struggles to keep his position and be a gentleman."

Pochettino also admitted that Spurs cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, who are level on points at the top of the English Premier League, in the transfer market.

Pochettino's side are hoping that a victory over Bournemouth tonight can close the five-point gap on leaders Man City and second-placed Manchester United.

The top two spent heavily during the recent transfer window and Pochettino concedes the financial strength of City and United means teams like Tottenham are forced to adopt a different strategy in the market as they attempt to keep pace.

He told beIN Sports: "The difference these days between clubs in the Premier League is that there are clubs, like City and United, who sign who they want and when they want.

"Then there are big teams, like us, who sign when we can and who we can. It's the big difference today."

Tottenham headed into the international break having maintained their perfect league record on the road with a win at Huddersfield Town.

At their temporary home of Wembley, however, Pochettino's men have continued to struggle, claiming just two points from their three home games in the EPL.

Anything less than victory over a Bournemouth side currently lying second-bottom will be viewed as a major disappointment.

Pochettino will be hoping Kane can extend his prolific scoring run.

The striker - nominated for the Ballon d'Or this week - has scored 15 goals in his last 10 games for club and country, including the winning goals in England's back-to-back 1-0 World Cup qualifying victories over Slovenia and Lithuania last week.

Kane was joined on England duty by club teammate Harry Winks, who will hope the experience of his first international call-up can help boost his chances of more regular action for his club. - AFP

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