When Wenger meets Pochettino
With both sides dropping valuable points in midweek, Tottenham and Arsenal meet tonight in a North London Derby that could make or break their title credentials.
Mauricio Pochettino hopes his kids don't succumb to the pressure.
Arsene Wenger hopes his superstars show more backbone than a jellyfish caught in the tide.
When the two managers meet in the tunnel at White Hart Lane, here's what they might say to each other…
WENGER: Will you accept my gift before the game, Mauricio?
POCHETTINO: No, I think you should have it.
WENGER: But I really want you to have it.
POCHETTINO: Look, one of us has got to take the title or Leicester City will pinch it.
WENGER: Yeah, maybe we should stop giving games away.
POCHETTINO: What do you mean, 'we'? We did it only once, against West Ham. You gave a crucial game away against Manchester United, then you did it again at home to Swansea… and in every significant game of the last 10 years.
WENGER: That's a gross distortion of the facts. My boys are born fighters.
POCHETTINO: They're not in the tunnel yet. Where are they?
WENGER: Oh, they're enjoying a foot spa in the dressing room.
POCHETTINO: Are you telling me they won't play without a foot spa?
WENGER: It's only a foot spa, surrounded by aromatic incense candles and the soothing sounds of Kenny G's saxophone.
POCHETTINO: Kenny G? I read that his music is popular with insomniacs.
WENGER: That would explain a lot.It's hard when I've got Olivier Giroud leading the charge.
POCHETTINO: You said he was a world-class striker.
WENGER: I can't tell the truth, can I? I can't say he's less useful than a chocolate fireguard.
POCHETTINO: I am lucky to have Harry Kane, even though he didn't score for me against West Ham. But he's still young. He needs time to fulfil his potential.
WENGER: It's the same with Theo Walcott.
POCHETTINO: Walcott? He made his debut when I was still playing for Espanyol.
WENGER: The best footballers need time to reach their peak.
POCHETTINO: The last ice age reached its peak faster than Walcott.
WENGER: You can't win anything with kids.
POCHETTINO: We've got the youngest side in the league and we're one spot above you in the table.
WENGER: Ah, but you are novices. We've been in these types of battles for years. That kind of experience is priceless.
POCHETTINO: How does it help?
WENGER: Well, I mean, er… we know what to say when we lose another title race.
POCHETTINO: You see, that's the thing I've never understood about Arsenal. You get these wonderful attacking players together. You settle into pole position to win the title and then you decide to throw it away.
WENGER: Decide? You think our title collapses are deliberate?
POCHETTINO: You mean they're not? But you perform them so well. Year after year, one collapse after another, your consistency is amazing. I just assumed you did it deliberately because you were masochists or something.
WENGER: No, we are not. We are real men. We are testosterone-charged terriers of power and aggression. My players battle for every ball. They fight to the death.
POCHETTINO: So why aren't they raring to go in the tunnel?
WENGER: They're finishing their pedicures.