Mauricio Pochettino insists it is impossible to compare Harry Kane with Mohamed Salah after Tottenham’s Premier League clash with Liverpool was being billed as as battle between the hotshots.
Kane was locked in a battle with Salah for the Premier League Golden Boot last season, with the Egyptian coming out on top after scoring 32 goals to the England striker’s 30.
Both have scored two each this season and will be looking to add to that tally when they go head-to-head at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime.
“They are two completely different players,” Pochettino said. “One is more a player that plays on the side, but now is a little bit playing inside, but he’s a winger.”
When pressed again, Pochettino insisted it was his job as a manager to talk up Kane, but downplay the achievements of his opponents’ star man.
“The other is for me a more complete player but both are complete players. I don’t want to say anything against one or the other or just because Harry is my player, I am going to praise Harry and kill Salah.
“I think both are fantastic players. The difference is obvious. They are different in the way that they play and how they act on the pitch. But I think both are very good players.”
Liverpool are expected to be genuine title challengers to Manchester City this season and people said the same about Tottenham after a landmark win at Manchester United.
But Spurs followed that 3-0 victory at Old Trafford with a 2-1 defeat to Watford, where Pochettino accused his players of operating as if it was a testimonial match.
Pochettino’s side effectively ended talk of a Wembley hoodoo when they beat Jurgen Klopp’s team 4-1 last October and the Argentinian is not expecting a repeat of the limp performance at Vicarage Road.
He said: “If Saturday we play in the same way – I don’t say performance, because the performance was not bad against Watford – but if we do it the same way, rather than take off players, I will be on the phone to say, ‘Houston, we have a problem!’
“Come on. If, against Liverpool at Wembley, you do not have the desire and the focus to play, it is not about playing well, it is about attitude and to say, ‘Hey, come on, we are aggressive and we try to win’.
“If you watch the Watford game again, you see we played so slow, so sloppy, from the beginning. It was like we thought, ‘OK, it is a nice afternoon in Watford, Elton John is in the stands’, it was like going to Hyde Park with my child.
“Maybe I repeat again but after Manchester United, all the signals from the team were that we were going to crash.
“Of course now to win against Liverpool can change the mood and change the perception and everything but still if you win, after you win against Brighton. Because you need to be consistent.
“It’s not to be focussed and right in one game and then the job is done, football the energy is 10 months you need to be ready and its tough, yes, but in our contract and our salary that is why the club pay us because we need to be consistent in 10 months.
“It’s not one week and another week. It’s difficult to compete if you are not consistent.”
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