Pochettino compares key Arsenal man to Lionel Messi

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has compared Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to Lionel Messi due to him being one of the most ‘special’ coaches of a generation.

The North London rivals are set to do battle at White Hart Lane today in what is being billed as the biggest clash of the local enemies in the modern era.

Both sides are fighting for the Premier League title, with Pochettino leading his young Spurs side to an unlikely ascent up the table.

Arsenal are also in the running to become English champions for the first time since 2004, but the Gunners have lost their last couple of matches.

Pochettino has been at White Hart Lane for two seasons now and is looking to build a long-term dynasty like Wenger has at the Emirates Stadium.

“It is about the special capacity that Alex Ferguson had and now Arsene Wenger,” Sky Sports quote the Argentine as saying.

“I don’t know if the capacities of the managers has changed or football has changed, it’s difficult to say.

“Maybe they are special people. Maybe Ferguson and Wenger are special people who are capable of keeping their job for so long. Maybe we aren’t too special.

“It’s like Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi. It’s difficult for some players to appear every season like them, no?

“Maybe when we think of special people like Ferguson or Wenger, maybe it’s not the clubs who are special, maybe the managers are special to keep their jobs.”

Both Spurs and Arsenal were beaten in midweek, with Pochettino’s side losing away to West Ham and the Gunners unexpectedly being turned over by Swansea at home.