Pochettino said: “It’s true that today the Premier League is so competitive and today for Tottenham to go to, I don’t know, to Southampton and sign a player like they used to do, like with Bale – today, it’s so difficult. It’s the same situation that happens with big clubs. Like you say, the example of Manchester picking players from Tottenham, Tottenham picking players from whoever, so I think everything has changed.”
Sunday’s game represents the first big challenge of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s caretaker reign and a United victory would strengthen his claim for the permanent job.
Pochettino revealed that he and Tottenham goalkeeper coach Toni Jimenez cheered Solskjaer’s dramatic Champions League-winning goal for United against Bayern Munich from inside the Nou Camp in 1999.
“I was there when he scored,” said Pochettino. “I was there with Toni Jimenez watching a fantastic game and how I shouted for a Manchester United goal was incredible.
“I don’t remember how we found the tickets. But I do remember that we were in a very bad place and we started to walk around the stand of the Camp Nou.
“We were in front, in the same level, but in front of the presidents’ area. But we started to walk, we crossed and jumped, up, up and up, and we arrived to the presidents. We found two seats there and we sat like this [arms folded]. It was fantastic.
“The last minute, when Sheringham scored, when Schmeichel went up to the penalty box. We said: ‘Wow, amazing game, now injury time.’ And then, when Solskjaer scored, we were shouting, celebrating, I don’t know why. Because in that moment we were neutral. But the atmosphere was amazing. And now it’s a coincidence that we are meeting. Sure, we’ll talk about it on Sunday.”