Mauricio Pochettino appeared to aim a sly dig at Arsene Wenger on Friday, telling a press conference: “If your own fans didn’t want you, there is no point to carry on working."
The Spurs manager was reflecting on his continued enjoyment of football as he turned 46 yesterday. Pochettino stated that he had originally intended to retire from the sport at 50, but is now enjoying his job so much that he can see no end in sight.
When jokingly quizzed about his age-defying lack of grey hair, Pochettino said that he did not consider football management to be as stressful as some would imagine.
(You may also be interested in Mauricio Pochettino Names the Youngster He Sees as the Future of Spurs Defence)
“For me football is no drama - I promise you my hair is natural,” he said, quoted by the Mirror. “Football is a joy. Is it stressful? For me the most quiet I am is when we are going to compete.
“I want to enjoy doing my job and enjoy helping people to achieve their dream and it cannot be a drama. If football became a drama would I give it up? Of course, of course."
It was then that Pochettino made the comment which seemed very relevant after his Arsenal counterpart Wenger endured one of the worst weeks of his career. Arsenal lost 3-0 to Manchester City in last Sunday's League Cup final, before a repeat scoreline against the same opposition in Thursday's Premier League match.
Arsenal were booed by their own fans at half-time and full-time on Thursday, and numerous anti-Wenger chants were heard from the stands throughout the game.
“If your own fans didn’t want you, there is no point to carry on working because you are going to damage first of all your company, your club and of course, the fans," Pochettino said.
Arsenal finished ahead of Tottenham in the top-flight for 21 consecutive years between 1995 and 2016, but Spurs finally laid that record to rest last season, and they lead their north London rivals by ten points this time around.