Arsenal manager Unai Emery was 'surprised' by Tottenham's decision to relieve Mauricio Pochettino of his duties at the club.
The Argentine was shown the door on Tuesday night, bringing an end to his five-year association with the London club following a series of poor results.
Emery, who spoke to the media on Thursday evening ahead of Arsenal's home match against Southampton, however, noted that Mourinho's presence in the league increases the rivalry between the two sides.
"Yes. For me it was a surprise," he said in response to a question on whether he was surprised to see Pochettino leave.
"I think Tottenham was doing very good work with Pochettino. Really, maybe the last result, the last matches didn't play or didn't achieve the good results, but I think overall that their way in the last years with Pochettino was perfect,"
" I don't know why exactly the real reason is for doing that, but they have their way and we have our way and then we are going to battle in our moments,"
"We are going to look at how we are, them and us. At the moment we are with some difference in the table against them and we want to keep that distance for the next matches,"
Emery is also under pressure to deliver following recent poor results but is determined to turn things around.
"I am with a focus on preparing the matches and it is very important how we can improve because we have a lot of work to do. That is really my only focus,"
Sixth-placed Arsenal welcome 19th placed Southampton at the Emirates on Saturday evening, hoping to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to Leicester last time out.
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