Mauricio Pochettino warns Pep Guardiola humility is needed for English success

Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline at White Hart Lane
Image: Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline at White Hart Lane

Mauricio Pochettino has offered a word of caution to Pep Guardiola about the challenges facing foreign managers in the Premier League.

The Manchester City manager has come under scrutiny this week after giving a series of prickly interviews following his side's 2-1 victory over Burnley on Monday.

In his first season in the Premier League, Guardiola finds himself in unfamiliar territory as his side have so far failed to keep pace with Antonio Conte's Chelsea.

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Chelsea head to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night looking for a Premier League record 14th consecutive victory and could reopen a ten-point gap to City if they can achieve the feat against Tottenham.

That is a far cry from Guardiola's previous seven seasons in management with Barcelona and Bayern Munich which yielded six league titles.

The one season Guardiola failed to win the league was in 2011/12 when he lost out to a Real Madrid side led by Jose Mourinho that broke the La Liga records points (100), goals scored (121), goal difference (+89), away wins (16) and overall wins (32).

Highlights of Manchester City's 2-1 victory over Burnley

It is unusual to see the usually-placid Spaniard show signs of strain but his patience appeared to snap after the rather unconvincing home win over Burnley.

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Fellow import Pochettino feels foreign managers often misjudge the demands of the Premier League and feels Guardiola needs time to adapt.

"When you go somewhere new it is never easy, and the Premier League is a completely different place," Pochettino said when asked about Guardiola.

"You do not endure it, or realise how difficult it is until you get here. People tend to underestimate the Premier League.

"They think they still play long balls here, with no quality of football and that Wednesday is a day off. Well, it is not like that. I have been in the country for four years and I have never seen that."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was left bemused when he was quizzed by journalists regarding Fernandinho’s red card against Burnley

When Guardiola arrived in Manchester, he acknowledged the need to adapt his patented style of play to the demands of English football.

At his introductory press conference, Guardiola said: "I have to adapt to the quality of my players. It's completely different to what I had in Barcelona."

The jury is out as to what extent Guardiola has attempted to adapt to English football so far - especially given his reluctance to emphasise tackling and second balls - but Pochettino warned him humility is a key ingredient for success in the Premier League.

"If you arrive here and you are not humble enough to know that you have to work hard, you will be disappointed," he said.

"Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world and it is normal that he needs time to work and to put his ideas into practice."

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