Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola thinks Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou “makes football a better place” and hails his impact at Spurs this season.
Spurs set the pace early on in the season before they picked up a number of injuries and suspensions during their 4-1 loss to Chelsea in early November.
They have now lost three on the bounce and face a tough away trip to face Man City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Tottenham know that a defeat against City could see them drop as low as sixth after an encouraging first few months under Postecoglou.
On the former Celtic manager’s impact in north London, Guardiola told reporters: “He is already there, in a short time. Even in the games they didn’t win lately. I am impressed at many things they do – the chances they create, aggression in all departments. He came here with nothing and within a few months already you can recognise Spurs as his team.
“Every team that plays with desire and determination comes from the manager. He has done this in the past in Japan and in Glasgow with Celtic.
“He makes football a better place – a person like Ange. I enjoy watching them play and the approach they have. The impact he has made has been quick and really good.”
On Tottenham’s recent form, Guardiola added: “From the way they play in the games they lost I would say no [they haven’t adapted the way they play to a less attacking style]. It has been similar to when they were winning.
“But when Maddison is not playing, or Romero, or his partner, it is different. Our job depends on the players, but if you say they lost something or adapted something, I would say no.”
On increasing competition in the Premier League, Guardiola continued: “It is a more difficult competition to win in every season. I have said that many times before. Every season is getting better, with more teams involved [in the title race], so every single game is difficult.
“Spurs is a fantastic team. Yes, they have important absences, but I saw the first 20 minutes against Aston Villa. They created a lot of chances, so they are really good for football.”
On Kyle Walker’s role as captain, with the club and as a stand-in for Harry Kane with England, Guardiola said: “Kyle is the same [as when he played for Tottenham]. But yes, he has more responsibility now. I am really pleased about what he is doing.
“I am pretty sure he will be happy too [about his leadership role with England]. He was born in this country and represents his country, it is so nice. I think Harry Kane is the captain, but [Walker] has a lot of experience now and that is why he can show it for the rest of the people.”