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Arsene Wenger one of last England managers with power - Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino stresses how important it is for Spurs to come away with a win in the North London derby.

LONDON -- Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino said Arsene Wenger is the last of a dying breed of old-school managers as English football moves towards a European model.

In more than 21 years at Arsenal, Tottenham's opponent on Saturday, Wenger has established near-total control of all aspects of the club. The longest-serving manager in English football signed a new two-year contract last summer, although his power has begun to weaken as of late.

By contrast, Pochettino's influence has grown since he joined Spurs in May 2014 -- with his title switching from head coach to manager two years later -- but he has said he will never be at leisure to decide when he leaves the club, unlike Wenger or former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Pochettino believes English football's move away from the values that made it a "paradise" has weakened managers' positions, although club chairman Daniel Levy has been one of the biggest advocates of a European model.

"It's difficult [to be like Wenger]," Pochettino said ahead of the north London derby. "For different reasons, it is tough. Maybe we are talking about one of the last managers to be able to apply this power over everything in a football club.

"The owners are different these days. Before, England was a little bit of a paradise for football. It was unique: there was respect for projects, for people, respect for managers, and even when I arrived at Southampton five years ago, it was still there.

"But now the owners are different. When English football started to integrate more with European football, England started to share the Latin culture more. And in the last few years, everything that has happened in the English game is similar to what would happen in another European country."

Wenger Poch
Mauricio Pochettino said the changes in the Premier League have also changed the power structure at clubs.

Spurs lost 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in November but Pochettino is yet to lose a league derby to Wenger at home and he is hoping to extend that record at Wembley this weekend.

After a slow start at their temporary home, Spurs have won eight of their last nine games at the national stadium with an aggregate score of 27-4, and victory against their fiercest rivals would follow home wins over Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

"It was difficult at the beginning," Pochettino said. "It's like when you move house. You're born and you grow up all your life in a house and after 20 years you move to another house. You need time to adapt to everything.

"The first few nights you don't sleep because everything is completely different. It's a new house but it's not your home. Now we start to feel that it's home, when before it was just a new house.

"For the fans, it's the same. It's difficult to adapt for the fans because they're so spread out and they were always in the same place all their life, with the same people next to you, in the same bar before the game. We are creatures of habit."

Meanwhile, Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy said he has not heard from Spurs after Pochettino met with Levy on Thursday afternoon to try to "find a solution" to the poor quality of the Spotland Stadium pitch ahead of the FA Cup fifth-round tie on Feb. 18.

"I have not heard anything," Dunphy said. "They might have been in touch with the club. We are in touch with the FA and we will be playing that game at Spotland."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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