Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: Mauricio Pochettino says club would need 'another magic guy' to deliver regular trophies

Jan Vertonghen missed Tottenham’s defeat at Chelsea and remains a fitness doubt for Saturday

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says if expectations change at the club they may need to find “another magic guy” to deliver regular Premier League and Champions League titles.

Pochettino is aiming for his fourth consecutive top-four finish to meet the club’s specific aim of Champions League football for their new 62,000 capacity stadium.

Third-placed Spurs host North London rivals Arsenal on Saturday [12:30 GMT] on the back of consecutive Premier League defeats to Burnley and Chelsea.

The Argentine has accepted that challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the title is now “impossible”; while Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have closed the gap as the competition for a top-four spot increases.

“My doubt is not about my future here,” said Pochettino. “After five years, I really believe we do a fantastic job for the club.

“If now the expectation is that it is not enough to play well, be a contender for top four and be in the Champions League for the third year in a row, if now the obligation is that it is compulsory to win a title because we are doing so well, you need to compare with other teams.

“In that comparison, you can be fair or unfair in your opinion. People judge us and put pressure on us if we have not won a trophy. Is that fair or not fair?

“If we compete with the same tools or different tools? If we [are] at the same level or not?

“Because we are not going to change the way we operate.”

Spurs have been playing at Wembley for the past 18 months while they build their new ground. They have not made a signing during the last two transfer windows and operate on a lower wage budget than their top-six rivals.

“The job that the club is doing is fantastic because with Brexit, with the position of the pound with Europe, I think the cost of building the new stadium [has increased] 30-40 per cent,” Pochettino said.

“Arrive to the new stadium in very good condition – I think that is more than winning a title, more than winning a Carabao Cup.

“We are talking about bigger things than winning a trophy. Of course we’d like to win a trophy.

“We like to feel, to lift some trophy – the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Premier League, the Champions League, of course.

“But the responsibility of the club is massive.

“I cannot change opinions and everyone can judge us in a different way. That’s why I told you that, maybe if Daniel [Levy – Spurs chairman] said to me next season, ‘We need to win a title, we need to win the Champions League and we need to win the Premier League’, then maybe you need to find another magic guy who can do this.”


Tottenham pair Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks are nursing hip injuries and will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s North London derby.

The injured Dele Alli and ill Eric Dier remain unavailable.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery expects Laurent Koscielny to recover in time from the knee injury he suffered late on against Bournemouth.

Stephan Lichtsteiner returns from a back problem, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available after illness.