Pochettino claims he believes he changed Tottenham’s mentality against Arsenal

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Mauricio Pochettino
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino may not have won any silverware at Tottenham Hotspur despite coming extremely close on more than one occasion.

However, the Argentine still views his time in North London as a success which most Spurs fans would certainly be in an agreement with.

Pochettino managed to get Tottenham competing for the biggest trophies despite working on a modest transfer budget.

The Argentine has now revealed that he is particularly proud that he was able to fulfil the three things that Spurs fans demanded the most when he arrived at the club.

He claimed those were beating West Ham, finishing above Arsenal, and closing the gap with the top four.

Tottenham had not finished ahead of Arsenal in 22 years until the 2015/16 season but the Lilywhites have now done so for the past three years in a row.

The former Spurs boss insisted that the club’s mentality changed as a result of achieving these objectives.

When asked to describe what the North London derbies were like, Pochettino told Sky Sports: “They were always special. I am a passionate person, my coaching staff are the same. We always lived the derby in a very passionate way.

“We enjoyed playing against Arsenal a lot. I have a lot of respect for Arsene Wenger.

“When we arrived at Tottenham six years ago the perception, feeling and input we received from our fans was, ‘please beat West Ham and not only beat Arsenal, but after 23 years we need to finish above them, and please reduce the gap to the top four because our dream is to play Champions League’.

“When you look back, maybe it’s not going to be a trophy, but to change this perception and reality was so tough. When we achieved that it was a big step in the mentality of the people at the club. Then after three or four years of playing Champions League regularly and being above Arsenal, the reality was there.

“We needed time to win titles and our aim was always the Premier League or Champions League. That didn’t happen but there was a lot of things that we feel very proud about. Maybe we were very close to winning a title.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While I would not put beating West Ham anywhere near the same level as the other two achievements he listed (since the Hammers have always been distinctly average), he certainly has a point when it comes to how the club’s mentality has changed.

Most Spurs fans now expect to finish above Arsenal going into every season. We have not only been able to overtake them on the pitch but we have done so off the pitch as well, and a large amount of credit goes to Pochettino for that.

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