AVB: Spurs can exploit Arsenal’s nervy defence

09:55 17 November 2012

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Andre Villas-Boas hopes Arsenal’s shaky defence will suffer from another bout of nerves in tomorrow’s north London derby.

Neither Tottenham nor Arsenal look as if they will challenge for the Premier League this season.

Tottenham have lost three successive games and sit seventh in the table, while their north London rivals have suffered their worst start to a campaign since 1982-83, when they amassed 14 points after 11 games.

The Gunners’ season has been blighted by defensive shortcomings. They won but still shipped five against Reading in the Capital One Cup, lost to Norwich recently and conceded three against Fulham last week - something that infuriated manager Arsene Wenger.

After the draw against the Cottagers Wenger said his defence looked “fragile”, and Tottenham manager Villas-Boas hopes the Gunners will have another off day at the back in tomorrow’s clash.

“You try (to exploit) those things,” Villas-Boas said.

“When we went to Man City we did that, but as soon as they equalised the environment turned.

“You can benefit from the buzz that’s around people. There’s always one more game for you to make the same mistakes.”

Spurs, of course, have not been immune from defensive lapses of their own this term.

Villas-Boas’ men have thrown points away in the last 15 minutes in four of their 11 matches - a problem which has caused the team to drop out of the reckoning for the Champions League places for now.

Yet there have been no collapses quite as spectacular as the one in last year’s thriller at the Emirates Stadium. Tottenham raced into the lead thanks to goals from Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adebayor, but they wilted under pressure and went on to suffer a humiliating 5-2 defeat.

Villas-Boas does not want a repeat performance in tomorrow’s encounter.

“It’s a game where you can’t sleep. You have to be aware all the time,” he said.

“Hopefully we take the lesson.

“Obviously at 2-0 you thought that the game was going Tottenham’s way.

“If you get your focus right, you feel confident to hold onto a lead like that.

“We are a good attacking side but we concede a lot so we have to get better and to improve our goal difference.”

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - July 24

 

Latest Stories

14 minutes ago
A million passengers are expected to fly out from London airports this weekend (Picture via Getty Images)

Expect travel chaos this weekend as almost one million Londoners are expected to fly out from the capital, with roads and railways also expected to be jam-packed as the summer getaway begins.

Read more
18 minutes ago
Three unconnected attacks occurred at Green Park Tube. [Picture courtesy of Sunil060902 and Wikimedia Commons]

London’s Tubes and trains are now a little safer after police arrested 13 people for sexual offences last week – including three men accused of filming up women’s skirts.

Read more
Frank Dobson is set to quit to quit as an MP for Holborn and St Pancras at the next election (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Frank Dobson, the veteran Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, has confirmed he is quitting politics at the 2015 general election.

Read more

Arsenal Quizzes

Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more

Arsenal Transfer News