Alderweireld found himself frozen out by Pochettino as he and the club hit deadlock over new contract talks.
"It always hurts when you are left out," he told the Daily Mail.
"The manager never gave me any reasons. But I understand that.
"I am not the guy who knocks on his door and says: 'Hey, what about me?'. I think that is very selfish.
"Let's be honest, he brought this club to the next level and I am grateful for what he did for the club. I think everyone is.
"I just always thought - again it sounds like arrogance - that I will show I deserved to be in the team, and that's what I did."