Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola doesn’t see Tottenham as a team that is extremely dependent on any one player.
Manchester City will host Tottenham Hotspur in the 14th round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) season at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on April 4 at 1:30 a.m. ET. City is currently second in the league with 29 points, while Tottenham is fifth with 26 points.
In the past, Guardiola has referred to Tottenham as “Harry Kane’s team”. While this may be a nod to Kane’s influence at Tottenham, it was also criticized as disrespectful to the other players and the manager.
With Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich, Tottenham’s absolute ace has been Son Heung-min. With eight goals and one assist, he has the most offensive points on the team and is third in the league in goals scored.
Unfortunately, Man City is no match for Son Heung-min. They’ve faced him 17 times, resulting in seven goals and three assists. Every time Tottenham has won against City, it’s been because of him. With another key part of their offense missing in James Maddison, City will naturally focus on containing Son.
“I don’t want to make the same mistake (calling Tottenham the Son Heung-min team) twice,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. There is the influence of Enze Postecoglou. Antonio Conte also played football the way he wanted to at Tottenham,” he said, treading carefully.
Guardiola’s comments are by no means dismissive of Son Heung-min. When he visited South Korea last summer, Guardiola said, “He’s a great player. He’s a great player and he’s doing very well from Korea to Europe.”
Guardiola also praised Postecoglou’s influence and tactical skills. “It doesn’t matter the result, home or away, Tottenham played the football they wanted to play,” he said with a smile. I think that’s a good advertisement for football. It’s impossible not to watch a game where both teams are trying to play the football they want to play,” he said, looking forward to facing Postecoglou.