Mauricio Pochettino: don’t compare Jürgen Klopp’s style with mine

• Spurs manager expects to see immediate improvement under German
• Klopp takes Liverpool to White Hart Lane for first match in charge

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions that he and Jürgen Klopp are tactical twins. The pair go head to head on Saturday when the German takes Liverpool to Tottenham Hotspur for his first match in charge since replacing Brendan Rodgers.

The contest has been widely billed as a meeting of like-minded managers but Pochettino says it is strange to claim that Klopp’s previous club, Borussia Dortmund, played in the same way that the Argentinian introduced at Southampton and now cultivates at Spurs. Both have always preached high-energy pressing and attacking but Pochettino draws a clear distinction between their approaches.

“It is a different style of pressing,” he said. “If you analyse Dortmund, it’s not similar to how we played at Southampton. Our pressing was to the opposing goalkeeper, whereas Dortmund played with a medium block. You can’t compare Klopp’s style with my style, we are different. I’m not saying one is better than the other, just that we are different.

“It depends on your ideas, your culture, how you see the philosophy, your football,” continued Pochettino. “I prefer to press high and we believe we can press the keeper. Another manager believes it is better to stay with a medium block or play deep and go on the counterattack. This is how you feel and believe, and how you develop your style.”

The Argentinian suggested that although Klopp will need time to embed his ideas, Liverpool may show signs of an immediate impact. Pochettino said that after he arrived in England in January 2013, his Southampton team began applying his teaching in his first match in charge, a 0-0 draw with Everton.

“After two [training] sessions, in the first half against Everton they started to show that they understood how to deliver our ideas,” Pochettino said. “The first half was unbelievable, we created 10 chances, we pressed high. After that it is not easy to keep your ideas for 90 minutes because players have the automatic period and come back again. That is why you need time to settle your ideas on the players.”

Tottenham’s striker Harry Kane has spoken of the dynamism that Pochettino has instilled in Spurs, saying this week that statistics prove Tottenham have outrun all other Premier League teams this season. “It is a good stat but football is about winning the games, not only running,” Pochettino said. “It is true our style is press and run, solidarity, being a unit. But we need to score and we need to be better with the ball than the opponent. We have a good balance between running and having possession.”


Paul Doyle

The GuardianTramp

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