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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has criticised Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for what he considers “sad” and “disrespectful” comments about Harry Kane and the Spurs side.
As reported by Sky Sports, Guardiola recently stated that, along with Chelsea and Manchester United, the “Harry Kane team” were City’s main rivals for the Premier League title.
When asked about the remarks at his press conference on Friday, the Tottenham boss was not happy, per Dan Kilpatrick of ESPN FC:
Dan Kilpatrick @Dan_KP
#thfc Poch says Pep’s ‘Harry Kane team’ comment ‘was very disrespectful to many people’ at Tottenham, says it was a ‘sad’ & ungentlemanly.
“I know Pep, when he’s excited after an amazing win he struggles to keep his position and be a gentleman,” said Pochettino, per Alasdair Gold and Greg Johnson of Football.London. “It was disrespectful for many.”
As noted by the same source, the Tottenham boss went on to add that when Guardiola was at Barcelona, he would never refer to them as the “[Lionel] Messi team.”
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Indeed, Guardiola’s comments inferred that Spurs were something of a one-man team due to the exceptional goalscoring exploits of the England international striker.
Earlier in the day, while Guardiola was named as the Premier League manager of the month after a flawless September with Manchester City, Kane was given the player of the month gong:
Harry Kane @HKane
Great to win the player of the month award but couldn’t do it without the rest of the boys. Hoping for more of the same in October. 💥⚽ #COYS https://t.co/LQzKEOy8as
While the striker’s season did get off to a slow start, in September he found top gear in spectacular fashion for club and country.
There’s no denying Kane is the focal point of this Tottenham team. The 24-year-old works hard, relishes physical battles and is so intelligent in his movement on the field. Additionally, he’s one of the most emphatic finishers on the planet, making him a huge asset for Pochettino.
These numbers from WhoScored.com put the goalscoring exploits of the forward from last month into some context:
Harry Kane: Scored more league goals (6) than 15 of the 20 Premier League teams in September https://t.co/AxGM90jCd1
It’s understandable that Pochettino would dismiss any notion of Spurs being a one-man team, as he’s worked hard to build a rounded side in north London.
Not only do Tottenham have a special goalscorer, they boast some of the most creative players in European football in Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. In midfield, they are technically astute and combative, while Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are arguably the best two centre-backs in the division.
Sure, Kane puts the gloss on a lot of Tottenham’s attacking play, but the success of Spurs under Pochettino is rooted in the team’s collective progression. While they would be worse off without their No. 10, you’d back this side to find a way of winning matches regardless.