Mauricio Pochettino is set to become the next Chelsea boss, but it’s fair to say that the former Tottenham manager hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with the blue side of London.
The Argentine coach was manager of Spurs between May 2014 and November 2019. In that time, he had plenty of run-ins with Chelsea and their various managers. He famously once said he’d “rather work on his farm” than manage Arsenal, and vowed to never manage Barcelona after coaching Espanyol, but he evidently doesn’t quite view Chelsea in the same way.
We’ve collected some of Pochettino’s best quotes on Chelsea from when he was managing in North London.
“Tottenham is not building in an artificial way,” Pochettino told The Guardian in 2017 after Spurs had lost the Premier League title to Chelsea.
“It is not about putting in money, money, money and build a fantastic team. Tottenham is genuine, a very natural process, and it is so exciting because it is unique in the world.”
“It’s a good signal our fans want more every season and with rivalry, always you look at the teams above you,” Pochettino said (via GOAL) in November 2018.
“For us, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham have been our biggest rivals. But I think that has changed a bit because of our positions in the table. In the last few years Chelsea were always on the top and Arsenal, after 21 or 22 years, were below us again.”
Battle of the bridge
“We were all involved. When you play for the title and play a big team like Chelsea, they want to win,” Pochettino told reporters after the Battle of the Bridge in 2016.
“It was normal emotion, fighting on the pitch is not a good example, for both teams. Chelsea fight to try to win, but I think that makes us feel very proud of our players, how Chelsea treat this game and show big respect to us.”
𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔅𝔞𝔱𝔱𝔩𝔢 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔅𝔯𝔦𝔡𝔤𝔢 ⚔️
Who will take the spoils this Sunday at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea face Tottenham…💭 pic.twitter.com/INixz4jRlM
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 10, 2022
“Chelsea have an assistant who also works for the international team,” Pochettino wrote in his book ‘Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs’, referring to former Chelsea assistant Holland.
“He should set an example. He certainly did no such thing that day. The way he looked at us as they piled on the pressure, or the way he came over to our bench to celebrate Chelsea’s goals was not right, unnecessary.
“When I saw that assistant soon after at our training ground, which the national team was using, I made my feelings very clear to him.”
“A club like Chelsea can spend big money on a transfer and then send him on loan – do you think Tottenham can do this? No,” Pochettino told Football London in reference to Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic and then loaning him out.
“But in the last few years Tottenham is fighting with this type of club. That is why no one likes Tottenham much, that is why everyone wants to challenge us.”