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Guardiola on White Hart Lane, Mauricio and our 'aggressive play'

Posted on 30 September 2016  - 16:58

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he's looking forward to his first ever visit to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

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The highly-rated former Barcelona and Bayern Munich chief is set to renew his managerial rivalry with Mauricio Pochettino, which dates back to the duo's time in La Liga. Indeed, Mauricio was in charge of Espanyol between 2009 and 2012 when Guardiola was at the helm of fierce rivals Barca.

City's visit to North London this weekend presents the pair with a chance to cross swords on English soil for the first time – and Guardiola for one is excited by the prospect of what's to come as the Premier League's only two unbeaten sides prepare to do battle.

“I played against Pochettino as a player and after that as a coach," said the 45-year-old at his pre-match press conference on Friday (September 30). "I think he’s one of the best managers in the world – I enjoy watching Tottenham a lot. He’s doing an amazing job.

"Last season they were there until the last two or three games for the Championship. This year they’re playing at a high level – they’re in second position so it will be a tough, tough game and I’m looking forward to going to White Hart Lane for the first time in my life. We will try to do our job.”

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Guardiola (pictured, above, with Mauricio during the pair's time at Barcelona and Espanyol in 2010) confirmed that he's seen a handful of our games and was very complimentary about our style of play: "The quality of the players at Tottenham is top," he added. "It's not about some short period, what happened last year especially and now is because, behind the scenes, they are doing a lot of very good things and you can see that during the games. The way they play, I like a lot – they’re aggressive without the ball and have a lot of quality.

"There are many teams who wait to see what you do and then react – they want to be protagonists. They don’t wait to see what they’re going to do, they want to create their own game. That’s what I like.

"Last season they played against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League and I saw those games. Of course, they didn't play with all their squad at that time because they were focusing on winning the Premier League but I saw the Tottenham-Liverpool game (in August) when it was 1-1 as well.

"When I saw the last game against CSKA Moscow, against Liverpool, against Middlesbrough, I liked what I was watching. All of the fans who like football and watch Tottenham can enjoy it – they’re proactive, they are not reactive."

DON’T MISS SUNDAY’S OFFICIAL MATCHDAY PROGRAMME!

Pick up your copy of our official matchday programme at the Manchester City game on Sunday.

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It’s £3.50 for 100 pages, including...

- Feature interview with Eric Dier
- Discussing the talents of Erik Lamela in 'Centre of Attention'
- Mauricio Pochettino's exclusive column
- A social media view on Heung-Min Son's goalscoring form
- Another instalment of ‘The White Hart Lane Years’
- City goalkeeping legend Joe Corrigan recalls playing against us
- Reflecting on past encounters and profiles of City's current squad

Buy yours from a number of points around the stadium or from the Spurs Megastore on Sunday.

Sample it now for free with our 12-page online preview edition or buy the full 100-page digital issue via tottenhamhotspur.com/programme