Mauricio Pochettino responds to Arsene Wenger's Rose comments

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The north London derby may have been nearly two weeks ago but the fallout of the 1-1 draw continues to rumble on.

On Thursday, Arsene Wenger announced Hector Bellerin picked up an injury in the dying seconds of the clash that will keep him out of action for the next four weeks.

Clearly frustrated, Wenger pointed the blame behind his first-choice right-back's unavailability at Tottenham's Danny Rose, who was responsible for inflicting the injury.

“Hector is out for four weeks. He got injured in the last ten seconds against Spurs after a very strong tackle by Danny Rose," the Arsenal boss said, as per The Sun.

“It’s an ankle injury. It was a bad one. It’s annoying to lose Bellerin. Did Rose want to injure Bellerin? I don’t think so. He just went in for the tackle.”

But Rose's manager, Mauricio Pochettino has hit back at Wenger's criticism and defended his player.

The Argentine didn't think there was any malicious intent behind his player's challenge but has admitted he encourages an aggressive style of play.

"What happens on the pitch is never about bad intentions, it is about football," Pochettino said, via The Mirror.

"I stopped my [playing] career 10 years ago and I feel like it was last month. I totally understand when players are playing with passion like Danny or anyone in our team.

“We are always aggressive in our play and sometimes things happen because football is very aggressive - it is a contact sport, always. You cannot avoid the contact.”

In a refreshing change to most club managers' opinion on international football, Pochettino went on to add that he would not complain had his star men picked up a similar injury to Bellerin's while playing for their national team - which could have easily been the case - thinks Wenger's comments were 'strange'.

He continued: "Two days ago, there was a bad tackle on Danny from Carvajal but that is football.

"If Danny comes in from the training ground and says, 'I cannot play on Saturday’ I cannot criticise Carvajal, because it is a game. Or Vardy for the tackle on Azpilicueta, that is football.

"We want all players to be like a man, be aggressive, make a tackle, always. But intention to injury the opponent? In football you know.

"Sometimes you cannot stop, you arrive late and you cannot criticise every single tackle.

"It is very strange that comment [from Wenger], but I respect him.”

Fighting talk from Pochettino!

It is unlikely to make Wenger feel any better, however, and the Frenchman will be hoping Bellerin's knock doesn't affect the Gunners' form too significantly.

As well as Saturday's clash with Manchester United, Bellerin is expected to miss a further seven games, including the key Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain.

Having not lost since the opening day of the season, the pressure will be on Bellerin's deputy - expected to be Carl Jenkinson or centre-back Gabriel - to ensure Arsenal avoid their traditional November slump.

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Mauricio Pochettino
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Tottenham Hotspur
Danny Rose

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