Poch fears Mozart of Manchester

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Sergio Aguero is the best out-and-out striker in the world, likening the Argentinian’s genius to Mozart.

Spurs are today bidding to stop Aguero’s Manchester City, who scored 11 goals and conceded once in the sides’ Premier League meetings last season.

Pochettino said: “When he plays, it is like classical music in my head. It is unbelievable. I think he is the best striker in the world.

“I love Aguero. It’s like Mozart — Beethoven is too crazy.

“For me, Aguero is the best. (Lionel) Messi is not a striker striker, Cristiano Ronaldo is not a striker striker, but Aguero is a striker.

“Everything you have to have as a striker, he has.”

Pochettino insists he is not biased based on national alliances and, despite his assessment, is confident Spurs can stop the former Atletico Madrid striker at the Etihad Stadium.

“He is Argentinian, like me, but he is the best,” Pochettino added.

“We need to make it difficult for him, to make the game difficult, to avoid the possibilities of him scoring,” he said.

Spurs must also limit the influence of another outstanding individual in Yaya Toure.

“I think he’s the best player in his position (in the Premier League),” Pochettino added.

“For me he is a great, great player. There are three or four or five like him in the world. We will try to stop him.”

Pochettino banishes bad memories and experiences from his mind and has consigned last season’s 6-0 and 5-1 losses — under his predecessors Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood — to history.

He insists he did not even watch those games ahead of the Etihad adventure.

He added: “This is a different season, different team, different manager, different players.

“(There is) never any value in watching old games. The games from one week ago have no value. You need to look forward.

“The past is good for statistics. We need to improve every day and keep the same level we had against Southampton (Spurs won 1-0 in their most recent match) and keep it for as long as possible in the next game.

“This is the way, and we try and play every game better.”

Pochettino will demand that Spurs do not meekly surrender against City.

“City won the Premier League last season and they have a strong squad and very good team. First, we need to compete, we need to show that we can compete with a team like City.”

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness after being forced out of France duty with a thigh injury.

Belgium midfielder Nacer Chadli (hip) will be given a chance to prove his fitness, too, while striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb will be assessed ahead of the game. Defenders Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Kyle Walker (abdominal surgery) remain out.

Skipper Younes Kaboul says today is a chance for Spurs to prove their worth against the champions.

Pochettino’s side are unbeaten away from home this season, including a 1-1 draw at Arsenal, and Kaboul is confident of a surprise at the Etihad Stadium.

“In football you always have to focus on the present and look to the future,” the France defender said.

“We can’t wait for this match, we want to go there and play our game.

“We need to repeat the same performance as we produced against Arsenal.

“In these big games, we need to do something to show everyone what we are capable of.”

Pochettino, meanwhile, insisted he is happy with Christian Eriksen despite Denmark manager Morten Olsen’s stinging criticism of the playmaker.

Olsen accused Eriksen of lacking impact on the field following the Euro 2016 qualifying loss to Portugal, but Pochettino has no such concerns.

“It’s his (Olsen’s) problem, not my problem,” Pochettino said.

“I am very happy with Christian Eriksen. I think he’s consistent and I’m happy with his performances this season.”


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