Jose Mourinho refuses to agree with Eric Dier’s Mikel Arteta claim

Jose Mourinho and Mikel Arteta meet on the touchline in the North London Derby this weekend.

Arsenal head to Spurs on Sunday with Arteta aiming to bounce back from a recent run of poor form.

The Spaniard received support from an unlikely ally this week as Spurs star Eric Dier labelled him the best young manager in Europe.

“They’ve got a lot of quality in their team and I think they’ve got a very exciting young manager,” said Dier.

“I think he’s maybe the most – personally, obviously I’m not on the inside! – but from what I see, the most exciting young manager in Europe, for sure.”

The statement was put to Tottenham ’s experienced boss Mourinho ahead of their encounter.

But he refused to be drawn on agreeing with Dier as he sat on the fence in fear of forgetting any of Europe’s most talented young managers.

“I don’t want to go in that direction,” he said.

“I don’t know them all and it’s very hard to say that. He won already an important competition in the first few months of his career, that we cannot deny.

“And to be the Arsenal coach, you have to be good. If you are not good, you are not there.

“So yes I think Mikel is a good coach, but I want to respect the others. Especially the others that I don’t know well. And probably they are also very, very talented.”

Sunday’s game will see fans return in limited numbers – something Mourinho believes will make the game extra special.

He added: “I think this moment will be a privilege. They will feel privileged to be one of the 2,000 fans.

“But it’s just the first step. As soon as possible we will have football back to normality.”

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