Mauricio Pochettino believes Arsene Wenger made a “mistake” by talking about Tottenham’s lack of trophies.
Before Arsenal beat Chelsea to book a place in the EFL Cup final on Wednesday, Wenger appeared to aim a dig at both Liverpool and Tottenham.
The Frenchman suggested the media “celebrate teams who haven’t been in a final for 25 years – and kill us”, even though Arsenal have won three FA Cups in the last four years.
Wenger’s comments were widely assumed to be a barb aimed at Pochettino and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, both of whom are yet to win a trophy in English football.
And ahead of Spurs’ trip to Newport County in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Pochettino hit back at Wenger.
“I’m so young and only five years in the Premier League, in two clubs, Southampton and Tottenham, but there’s no point to talk about another team,” Pochettino told reporters.
“Praise? Of course we receive praise. Football is not only to win trophies, it’s the circumstances of different clubs.
“He is and will always be one of the best managers in the world, I respect him, but I think he needs to talk for himself and for Arsenal.
“He is a special manager, but everyone sometimes makes a mistake and for me he made a mistake to talk about us or a different team.”
Newport knocked out Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United in the third round and Pochettino believes the pitch at Rodney Parade will be a typical FA Cup leveller.
“Today they are playing a rugby match. It is not an easy pitch but we will not complain about the pitch,” Pochettino said. “It will be tough, it’s not about going there and thinking just because we are Tottenham we are going to win. That is important.
“We need to show massive respect to the opponent. In my mind, it’s not a League Two team. It’s our opponent, I don’t care about their level. We need to give our best or we’re going to have a massive problem.
“I saw their last game in the FA Cup against Leeds United. They’re a very physical team, with some quality players, and in the end the motivation will be massive for them. Of course, it will be a very tough and dangerous game.
“We are aware but another thing is to be concentrated and focused and ready to fight. It will be a big battle. [We must] put ourselves in the same level as them, same motivation.
“No complaints, no excuses, try to believe we’re going to play against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the Champions League. If we’re not ready to compete from the beginning, we’re going to struggle.”
Pochettino plans to use teenage midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe in the Cup tie, but is considering resting star striker Harry Kane.