Poch: If Arsenal have nous, what happened at United?

Date published: Friday 4th March 2016 9:05

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed the idea that Arsenal have experience on their side in the Premier League title race.

Spurs take on their fiercest rivals on Saturday, knowing a win at White Hart Lane would open up a six-point gap over Arsene Wenger’s men with only nine Barclays Premier League games left to play.

It could also reduce the lead of Leicester, who are currently three points clear at the summit, as Tottenham look to bounce back from Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham.

Arsenal are the only side in the top three to have gone through the highs and lows of a title race in recent seasons, but Pochettino dismissed the theory that experience could be decisive.

“It’s difficult to know,” the Argentinean said. “If they have players that have the advantage to win the title, what happened against Manchester United or Swansea (on Wednesday night)?

“We are capable of beating Manchester City away. (On Wednesday night) against West Ham was difficult, but sometimes we use a lot of topics in football. Football is simple, not too complicated.

“Different clubs sometimes sign a player or a manager with a big background or big trophies behind them. Sometimes they have success and sometimes not.

“You never know. Football is not an ordinary business. Anything can happen.”

Tottenham chose not to start midfielder Dele Alli at Upton Park after the 19-year-old sustained an ankle injury in the warm-up against Swansea last weekend.

Alli, however, came on as a substitute against the Hammers and should be fit to face the Gunners, while Mousa Dembele may also feature after recovering from a groin strain.

On whether Alli might start on Saturday, Pochettino said: “Maybe yes. He played against West Ham 30 minutes. (On Thursday) he is good, but still we need to assess him on Friday.

“We need to assess Mousa on Friday in the last training session. Maybe it is possible he will be selected.”

Tottenham will be eager to respond after an unusually ineffective performance during they which they struggled to match West Ham’s intensity and could have lost by more.

Pochettino admitted his side were “poor” in his post-match press conference. but, after analysing the game again on Thursday morning, the Spurs head coach feels confident it was just a blip.

“Sometimes the same pass one day, you miss your team-mate the next, sometimes it happens,” Pochettino said.

“They’re not robots. They are not machines. We have the right attitude. I think that we fight and sometimes this happens in football.

“For me it was an exception. When we analysed the game this morning we feel more happy.

“On Wednesday night the feeling was that we missed some passes, we were not playing the normal way that we play – properly. I feel bad after the game.

“But today I am happy because the team showed that they want to fight.”

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