Mauricio Pochettino laughs at talk of Harry Kane-Mohamed Salah goals row
LONDON -- Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was reduced to laughter at the thought of Mohamed Salah gaining extra motivation to win the Premier League Golden Boot from Harry Kane's bonus goal this week.
Pochettino said he did think Kane would learn from the fallout of the decision to award the striker Tottenham's second goal in a 2-0 win at Stoke City ahead of teammate Christian Eriksen.
But Pochettino laughed off the suggestion that Salah, who is now just four goals ahead of Kane in the Golden Boot race, will now have added motivation to end the Spurs striker's hopes of being the first player to win three consecutive Golden Boots since Thierry Henry from 2003 to 2006.
"I don't believe if Salah needs this situation to be inspired... come on, you make me laugh," Pochettino said. "I respect all of their opinions. I respect the people that disagree with Harry, who do not agree with Harry, with the people who were surprised about him claiming it was his goal or not."
The situation materialised into something of a maelstrom after Kane swore on his "daughter's life" that Eriksen's free kick touched his shoulder on the way into the net and he provided testimony to the Premier League Goal Accreditation Appeals Panel after Spurs appealed the decision to award the goal to Eriksen.
The panel's decision to award Kane a 25th league goal of the season was greeted with surprise by his Golden Boot rival Salah and a number of the Liverpool forward's teammates, while Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and former England captains Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer have also questioned the call.
Pochettino, who says he was not involved in the club's appeal, admits the furore has disappointed Kane, who did not expect the situation to snowball as it has.
"Harry is disappointed because he never wanted to create this [imbroglio]," said the Spurs boss. "It is a small or simple thing and sometimes they become bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and you cannot stop it. That was what happened. He is going to learn a lot from this.
"Of course he never thought that this situation was going to go on to such big things when he was so, so, so, so certain that he touched the ball. It's normal that he was a little bit disappointed [by the reaction] because of course Harry Kane and all of our players have Twitter, Instagram, everything.
"Tottenham fans will back Harry Kane but other fans will kill him. People have opinions but that is normal.
"Today everyone can talk, and everyone can give his opinion. We are more than happy to live in a society in most of the world that we feel freedom to talk, to say, to write, to do what we want. Why? We need to accept that people have different opinions. I'm sure Harry has accepted that different people have different visions about his actions.
"I am not disappointed. Why would I be? I was a player -- but not so good like Harry -- but when you touch the ball, and you are right, it's normal to say, 'I scored the goal.'
"I don't care about the cameras. There is no point to create a problem if you did touch the ball. Harry is a very honest person and is not going to lie about that. We create a massive issue when it is not an issue."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.