December 13, 2017, 17:32

Mauricio Pochettino hoping to improve top-six away record when Tottenham face Arsenal

Mauricio Pochettino hoping to improve top-six away record when Tottenham face Arsenal

The pressure is on Arsene Wenger and Arsenal following their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City before the international break, but does Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino have a point to prove in Saturday’s north London derby, live on Sky Sports?

The Argentine has been rightly lauded for taking Spurs to new heights since his arrival from Southampton in the summer of 2014, but away games against Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal remain something of an Achilles heel.

Pochettino has only claimed one win in 16 trips to the Premier League’s big six since taking over at Spurs – and that came back in February 2016, when a late goal from Christian Eriksen secured a 2-1 win over Mauricio Pellegrini’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United at the end of October was Pochettino’s ninth away defeat against the Premier League’s big six, with the six other meetings ending as draws. Overall, Spurs have conceded more than twice as many goals as they have scored.

“I’ve seen it too often with Spurs, they fail to turn up in big games, maybe going back 20 years,” said Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher last season. “Is it a belief thing? Is it a mentality thing, ingrained in the club? If that doesn’t change, they are going to become like Leeds. Fantastic Leeds, got to the semi-final of the European Cup – so what? They didn’t win anything.”

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Jamie Redknapp echoed those comments after Tottenham’s recent defeat at Old Trafford, saying: “This has been a feature of a lot of Tottenham’s away games against the top six teams. There have been so many games even when Harry Kane has played where Spurs didn’t play with any personality. They have to improve this if they want to win the title. Pochettino’s record against the top six isn’t good enough.”

Pochettino will hope to take the first step towards changing that when he takes Spurs to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. And while his overall record away to the big six is poor, he is actually yet to taste defeat away to Wenger’s side, with each of their last three meetings ending 1-1.

In Wenger, he will meet a manager with even bigger problems in the big games. The Frenchman’s away record is even worse than Pochettino’s – he has only won one out of 18 since August 2014 – and his overall record is worse than any of his top-six counterparts.

Premier League records against the big six since August 2014 Manager P W D L GF GA Win % Wenger 33 6 14 13 45 53 18.2% Pochettino 33 10 11 12 44 45 30.3%

Pochettino’s strong home record means he has won 10 of his 33 games against the top six overall, but Wenger has only won six out of 33 in the same timeframe. Arsenal have only won five out of 15 games against their top six rivals at home since the start of 2014/15, drawing seven and losing three.

For Pochettino, whose Spurs side are still on a high from their 3-1 win over Real Madrid earlier this month, Saturday’s game looks like a good opportunity to claim a long overdue away win against a top-six rival. It would be even sweeter to do it at the home of their north London rivals.

Watch Arsenal v Tottenham live on Sky Sports Premier League HD from 11.30am on Saturday


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