Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou is full of admiration for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, but fails to see many similarities between the pair.
Postecoglou’s youthful Spurs side face the biggest test of his early reign on Sunday when they make the short trip to the Emirates for the first north London derby of the season.
Second-placed Tottenham travel across the capital in high spirits but face an Arsenal team that are into a fifth season under Arteta, who also took over a club in the doldrums and has overseen a cultural change from top to bottom.
While Postecoglou is at the start of the same type of rebuilding job at Spurs, he poked fun at suggestions he is alike his 41-year-old opposite number.
He said: “I think Mikel has been outstanding, really strong right from the start by having a real vision for the football club and the club’s backed him, but I don’t think that’s unique.
“I think Liverpool did the same with Jurgen (Klopp). Most clubs that end up having a successful period do it on the back of having a really clear idea of what they’re trying to create.
“The only problem is that a lot of clubs jump at shadows at the first sign of things not progressing at the rate they were hoping to. Credit to Arsenal and credit to Mikel that they backed each other and they’re reaping the rewards of it but that’s not a blueprint for us to follow.
“We’ve got our own blueprint. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s timescale, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s processes. What you’ve got to do is have a clear idea about what you want and provided along the way you see progress, stick to it.
“In terms of similarities, I’m 58, he’s whatever (41). I’ve had 26 years, he’s five years into it. He’s managed in one country, I’ve managed in a few. I’m not sure how he’s got a great head of hair!
“He’s a lot fitter than I am. I don’t know, there’s not a lot of threads I can sort of join between us. I wouldn’t say we’re opposites.
“We’re different. Even in the way his team plays. Yes he does have a very attacking philosophy but it’s different from mine and that’s the beauty of the game. That’s what you love about it.
“It’s why you can’t copy. If you’re an artist and you see a Picasso, yeah you can copy it, but it’s not going to be a Picasso is it? It’s the same with football.
“You can see that somebody does something really well, but don’t bring your own personality into it. I have great admiration for the way he’s gone about things and how he’s stuck to his beliefs. It’s a credit to him.”
Postecoglou did not claim to have any type of personal relationship with Arteta, but he did reveal a time when he got to view the Spaniard up close.
The former Celtic boss watched Manchester City training not long after he was appointed manager at Yokohama, who are part-owned by the City Football Group.
“I spent a week at City when I first got the Yokohama job because they were part of the group and were generous enough to invite me in,” he revealed.
“I didn’t speak to anyone but I observed training and you could see then how passionate Mikel was about the game and that he was itching to get going and become a manager himself.
“He’s had a different journey but he’s made the impact.
“As I keep saying, there’s no real defined way to get here.”