LONDON – Mauricio Pochettino has told his players to take Arsenal’s online gloating as a compliment – but admitted he does not like social media.
Members of the Arsenal squad posted dressing-room selfies and the slogan ‘north London is red’ after their 4-2 derby win over Tottenham on Sunday.
But Pochettino, whose side will attempt to bounce back tonight against Southampton, took the mocking as a mark of respect for how they have progressed, with Spurs having finished ahead of Arsenal in each of the past two seasons.
“When the people celebrate like this, it’s because people respect you and see you as a big club,” he said.
“When we arrived here (in 2014), normally Arsenal were always above Tottenham. But now, for the last two seasons we were above them.
“It was a massive win for them, and of course for us, it was a massive disappointment but it (the celebrations) showed the respect that we got in the last few years with our results.
“Maybe we still will not win a trophy, as the people say, but the respect for the way we are doing things is the most important thing.
“Steve Hitchen (the Tottenham chief scout) was at the Liverpool game against Everton and watched our game beforehand. And when Arsenal scored their third goal, all the Liverpool fans celebrated.
“It’s clear we are doing something good. I don’t like it when (our opponents) don’t celebrate, because it’s normal to beat Tottenham.”
Pochettino said he prefers dressing-room selfies to be reserved for really special, cup-winning performances or titles, but was adamant he had no issue with Arsenal celebrating their victory.
He said: “Personally, I don’t like it. Obviously if you win a trophy, like I won when I was a player, it is a moment to celebrate.
“For me, this is my mentality and I don’t want to say it’s right or wrong. If you win, of course celebrate and show the fans you are happy. It’s fantastic – but when you win, when you win a trophy, when you win something special.
“In the end, Arsenal-Tottenham, we are 30 points each, we are in a similar position, still a lot of games to play. To be sporting enemies is a fantastic thing, but I don’t want to criticise what people want to do.”
On social media in general, he added: “Look what happens with it. I go with my dog to the park, but the most important thing (for others) is not to share time with the dog, the walk – but to share with (their) followers. I am an old person. Old mentality.”
Speaking ahead of tonight’s Wembley match with Southampton, Pochettino admitted he was sad to see his former club struggle.
They sacked Mark Hughes on Monday, and Kelvin Davis is in caretaker charge ahead of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival.
The Austrian is expected to be at Wembley for the fixture before becoming their fifth manager since Pochettino’s departure in 2014.
Pochettino said: “Southampton was my first club in England, and it was a massive part of my life as a manager. But I am not happy with the situation. They have tools to (change) that situation.”Daily Mail