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.
Kane enhanced his chances of winning the prize for the third season running when he was awarded Tottenham’s second goal in their 2-1 win at Stoke last Saturday after it was originally given to Christian Eriksen.
The England striker was adamant he had to get the credit for the strike and managed to get the Premier League’s goal accreditation appeals panel to award it in his favour.
It took his tally to 25 goals for the season, four behind Liverpool’s Salah who, along with a number of other players, immediately appeared to question the decision on Twitter.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said the decision should inspire the Egyptian to go on and win the prize, but Pochettino was having none of it.
“I don’t believe. I don’t believe,” he said. “I don’t believe Salah needs this situation to be inspired… come on, you make me laugh.
“I respect their opinions. 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.
“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.”
Pochettino, who admitted it was not his decision to lodge the appeal, has insisted throughout the whole process that it was “not a big issue”.
And he also says Kane never thought he would be open to such ridicule when trying to get the goal.
“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,” the Argentinian added.
“It’s normal that he was a little bit disappointed 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.
“(He is) disappointed because he never wanted to create this. For you, sometimes, it is a small or simple thing and 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.”
Tottenham are on a 14-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, stretching back to December when they were beaten by this Saturday’s opponents Manchester City.
Pochettino does not think that beating City this time would prove they can compete for future titles.
He said: “It is not about one result that we are going to show that we are ready or not ready. We have already shown we are ready to compete.
“We need to be consistent during the whole season and be the best team like Manchester City are doing today. We need to show ourselves that we can compete.”