Mauricio Pochettino has explained why Tottenham’s chief scout Steve Hitchen watched Liverpool face Everton on Sunday.
Pochettino confirmed Hitchen was in attendance at Anfield as Liverpool beat Everton in dramatic fashion.
The chief scout rather wisely gave proceedings at the Emirates a miss, as Tottenham were beaten by Arsenal hours earlier.
Pochettino noted that rival Premier League fans seemed to take great pleasure in Tottenham’s 4-2 defeat, with not only Arsenal supporters but Liverpool ones celebrating too.
Arsenal players even broke one of English football’s unwritten codes: never take dressing-room selfies.
“When people celebrate like this, it’s because they respect you and see you as a big club,” he said.
“When we arrived here five years ago, the derby was a little bit ‘well it’s normally Arsenal always above Tottenham.’ But now the last two seasons we were above, and how they celebrate, of course it’s a derby but you start to see [those social media posts].
“It was a massive win for them, of course, and for us it was a massive disappointment – but it showed the respect that we got in the last few years with our performances, with our results.
“[Our chief scout] Steve Hitchen was at the Liverpool game against Everton and was watching our game before in the stadium – and when Arsenal scored the third goal all the Liverpool fans celebrated, like Arsenal celebrated after.
“It’s clear we’re doing something good. I love it when the people celebrate when they beat you. I don’t like it when the people don’t celebrate because it’s normal to beat Tottenham.”
When pressed as to why Hitchen was on Merseyside instead of at the north London derby, Pochettino joked: “There is maybe a big surprise in January!
“He went to enjoy the entertainment, the experience.”