Arsenal can win North London Derby but Spurs will finish fourth

Last Saturday’s Football Focus had an interview with Pochettino at the training ground, with his assistants watching the conversation from the sidelines.

The manager admitted that his staff are addicted to Game of Thrones.

He was asked whether seeing youth players today reminded him of the 14-year-old boy he used to be.

“I was thirteen. One o’clock in the morning.” He knocked on the table. “Two people came in my house. Jorge Griffa, the head of the academy at Newell’s Old Boys, and Marcelo Bielsa, a coach at the academy. They were trying to find good talent around the country to go to a professional club.”

Poch said it was exciting, a big decision to move to Rosario from a small town of Murphy where his family lived. He wanted to follow his dream and he was grateful that his parents allowed him to go.

He was asked, “Does your wife ever give you advice, football advice?”

“Yes, a lot. Yes, of course a lot.  Advice and criticism, both. It’s important you find sometimes a different view that can help you to be more creative.”

Did you know that Bielsa coached Mauricio Pochettino when he was a teenager? I didn’t.

A realistic, pragmatic character, he runs his own show at Tottenham, and my journo pals, those who know him well, love the guy.

So does Daniel Levy, who has been chairman since 2001.

Levy’s nine previous managers were George Graham, David Pleat, Jacques Santini, Martin Jol, Juande Ramos, Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.

OK, Tottenham need a trophy. That is fair comment.

But this squad is good enough to win a trophy.

I reckon Arsenal could beat Spurs by one goal today.

Signing Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, who are close friends, is like hiring three world class players. Those two together are as good as three.

They combine beautifully. Auba is explosive and lethal. And Armenia’s finest footballer has a point to prove in the next 12 games.They will make Arsenal more direct, more penetrating, more dynamic, more unpredictable, and, actually, a bit more like Spurs.

But I still think Pochettino’s boys could finish fourth.