Today is Monday, which means it’s the day when Champions League managers get in front of a microphone and say nice things about their opponents. That’s exactly what Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac did for Tottenham Hotspur, their Champions League foe tomorrow evening. Bayern are in London to play Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and while Bayern will be looking for a win to take a commanding lead in their group after two games, he was pretty effusive with praise for what Spurs did in the competition this past season.
“You can see what it means when you have a good coach, a good manager. In my opinion, Tottenham is a very positive light in European football.
“They are now able to compete with the big teams, even though it didn’t look like that six or seven years ago. They have continuity, he [Mauricio Pochettino] was given time and he has done a great job and that is an example for others. All the players are world class from different international teams and we know what to face tomorrow.”
Awwww, that’s nice, Niko! Last season Spurs made the Champions League finals, something that Bayern hasn’t done since they won the whole thing in 2013 — but Bayern are not strangers to deep runs in the competition. Despite losing to Liverpool in the knockout rounds last year, they made the semi-finals four out of the past six seasons. Bayern certainly aren’t overlooking Spurs in their new stadium.
Neither are they overlooking the threat from Harry Kane. Kovac was also extremely complimentary about Tottenham’s homegrown talisman.
“His quality in the Premier League and England squad speaks for itself,” he added. “He’s sensational and he can do it all. He’s good at holding up and good with his head. There’s nothing he can’t do, he’s a very strong striker. Him and Lewandowski are probably the top two, three or four in the world.”
Can’t disagree — Lewandowski already has 11 goals in all competitions this season, and while Kane lags a ways behind that, he’s always a threat to score, especially in European competition. It’ll certainly be a match that features some high-powered offense, and Tottenham in particular will need to be aware of the threat from Lewa as well as Kingsley Coman and Coutinho.
The match kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. BST on Tuesday.