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

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

From Al Martino to Sam Bailey? How well can you recall 62 years of Christmas number ones?

Read more

Claudia Winkleman has said she’s ‘ridiculously excited’ to be hosting the first Comic Relief Danceathon.

Read more

EastEnders fans have been tasked with working out who killed Lucy Beale – with a behind-the-scenes visit to the soap on offer as a prize.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Arsenal Quizzes

Try our fiendishly difficult new Arsenal quiz! Picture: PA

This new quiz will test even the most devoted Arsenal fans’ knowledge...

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more

Arsenal Transfer News