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

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Submit your Arsenal player ratings

Latest Arsenal news

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Harry Kane of England  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Thierry Henry admits he is a fan of Tottenham striker Harry Kane but believes he has a long way to go to emulate Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale is the world's fastest with the ball at his feet, while Tottenham's Aaron Lennon and Arsenal's Theo Walcott also make the top 10 (Pictures: Getty)

Former Tottenham star Gareth Bale is the world’s fastest player with the ball at his feet, according to a study by Mexican club Pachuca which has been endorsed by FIFA.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Mario Suarez of Atletico Madrid  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid midfielder Mario Suarez is being pursued by at least three Italian clubs, according to his agent.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Liverpool player Daniel Sturridge (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Daniel Sturridge could return from injury in time for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Pedro   (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The latest transfer gossip from around the web.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Arsenal Transfer News