Arsenal skipper Mikel Arteta has praised Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino for the way he looked after the Spaniard when the duo played together at Paris Saint-Germain.
A North London derby is usually met with Arsenal and Spurs trying to get one over each other in terms of mind games but there is a clear admiration from Arteta towards Tottenham’s Argentine coach.
“Yeah, we played together at Paris Saint-Germain. He was the captain for them when I started my career, he really looked after me. He was like a dad, even if he doesn't like that word but he really looked after me,” Arteta told the Mirror.
“I always appreciate what he did for me when I started my career, all the advice that he gave me. He has been a top person in my career.”
Arteta’s comments suggest Pochettino should have enough in terms of man management and the way he individually connects with younger players to get the most out of Spurs this season.
They have suffered an inconsistent start to the season, which has seen gritty displays mixed with the sort of frustrating performance that was evident last weekend against West Brom after the Europa League game against Partizan.
Spurs go into the derby later today as the underdogs, with Arsenal favourites to get three points and close the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
However, Pochettino will give his players the belief that they can go into the game and pull off a win.
There’s no advantage either way with both sides having played in the League Cup during the week and Pochettino’s focus will be on making sure his players give their best performances and don’t get intimidated by a hostile atmosphere at the Emirates.
It’s the first taste of this derby for many Spurs fans but Pochettino’s Dad like instincts should ensure his team are well looked after and fully prepared.