Pochettino: Zabaleta at high point with City

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

First published in Sport

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is impressed by the way former team-mate Pablo Zabaleta has come to the fore at tonight's opponents Manchester City.

The reigning Premier League champions have endured a frustrating season and sit nine points shy of Manchester United.

Zabaleta has been one of City's shining lights and his performances have caught the eye of many, including Pochettino.

The Argentinian pair played together at Spanish side Espanyol and the Saints boss is proud of his old friend.

''I know him because we shared the same dressing room,'' Pochettino said. ''The problem won't be just playing against him, but the fact he has 10 colleagues with him.

''That said, he arrived in Spain when he was very young and has been maturing. He is at a high point now with Manchester City.

''He is the same now as he was then. He has not changed. He has a great mentality, a winning mentality, aggressive - the typical sort of player in the Premier League.''

Zabaleta's contribution seems to be getting recognition at last - something Pochettino, himself a former defender, is pleased to see.

''Teams need players with different characteristics but what people notice most is the goals,'' he said. ''That is what is prized most.

''But the trainers, the manager, attach a lot of value to players that provide the ball to be scored.

''I think he is amongst the top 10 players in his position in the world.

''That is demonstrated by the fact his place in one of the best teams around in Manchester City and the Argentinian national team.''

Pochettino may be looking forward to seeing Zabaleta tonight but he is hoping to disappoint him at St Mary's, with Southampton looking for a first win since his arrival.

''I want to point out the great willingness they've all shown and also how willing they've been to accept the new management, the new philosophy,'' said Pochettino, who has so far overseen two draws and a win.

''I don't like to compare but we've seen the team which is in a very good line of play at the moment.

''We've deserved better reward from teams we've played up until now.''

Comments (5)

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11:58am Sat 9 Feb 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

Nothing would please me more than to see Citeh looking glum and despondent at the final whistle, I can dream can't I?
Nothing would please me more than to see Citeh looking glum and despondent at the final whistle, I can dream can't I? OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Sat 9 Feb 13

CiTyBlUe7 says...

Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation.

At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint.
Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation. At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint. CiTyBlUe7
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Sat 9 Feb 13

SO50 Saint says...

And even if that did happen Cityblue Southampton will stay be playing in the league next season. Unlike your lot enjoy Bournemouth
And even if that did happen Cityblue Southampton will stay be playing in the league next season. Unlike your lot enjoy Bournemouth SO50 Saint
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Sat 9 Feb 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

CiTyBlUe7 wrote:
Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation.

At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint.
But you are a nightmare, go away.
[quote][p][bold]CiTyBlUe7[/bold] wrote: Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation. At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint.[/p][/quote]But you are a nightmare, go away. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Sat 9 Feb 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

CiTyBlUe7 wrote:
Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation.

At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint.
Funny that Mancini and co. looked a bit glum tonight, not as glum as the skate supporters, but definitely very glum.
[quote][p][bold]CiTyBlUe7[/bold] wrote: Nothing would be more pleasing to me than watching Manchester City put 10 past the Scummers and aid their immediate relegation. At least my dream is a realistic one Ospreysaint.[/p][/quote]Funny that Mancini and co. looked a bit glum tonight, not as glum as the skate supporters, but definitely very glum. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

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