Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino keen to beat his nemesis José Mourinho

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The spectre of José Mourinho has loomed large for Mauricio Pochettino at various stages of his career. The Tottenham Hotspur manager remembers when he was at Espanyol for his first playing spell and Mourinho was the assistant manager across town at Barcelona, working first with Sir Bobby Robson and then with Louis van Gaal.

Pochettino did not have much luck against that Barcelona team over four years – Espanyol beat them only once, in February 1997 – but he fared rather better than he did when he became the manager of Espanyol and had to face Mourinho’s Real Madrid. In two seasons from 2010 Pochettino played him four times in La Liga, losing all four, failing to score in any of them and conceding 13. “Unlucky,” Pochettino says, with a smile.

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