Spurs are becoming noisier neighbours, insists Wenger

10:57 16 November 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger takes his side to Bradford on Tuesday night. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger takes his side to Bradford on Tuesday night. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Arsene Wenger believes that Tottenham’s advances in recent years mean that results in north London derbies can now have a big impact on who qualifies for the Champions League.

The Gunners play host to Spurs tomorrow in this season’s first clash with their local rivals with both sides side by side in the Premier League table but already off the pace set by leaders Manchester United.

For much of the Frenchman’s 16 seasons in charge of Arsenal, the White Hart Lane side have rarely troubled the top four but under previous boss Harry Redknapp they booked their place in Europe’s top competition for the first time.

Last term they again finished in the fourth place but were denied entry as Chelsea – who came fifth – won the competition and that, for Wenger, shows that the noisier neighbours are closing the gap in the battle for north London supremacy.

He said: “For some time we were winning championships and they were not in the top four at all so, of course, they’ve got closer in recent years but we always managed to get above [them].

“Every year they have a good side and they are always a team that is fighting with us.

“Certainly the results in the two derbies can have a big influence on a qualifying spot for the Champions League.”

Current Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas revealed yesterday that the importance of tomorrow’s fixture has been greatly impressed upon him by chairman Daniel Levy, but Wenger says he does not need similar reminders.

“My chairman knows how much that game means to me and to everybody at the club,” he said.

“I’ve played these derbies for 16 years now so at least I understand the importance of it.”

He added: “Every London derby is important and we dropped some points recently and we want to come back in a more consistent way of results and that’s why it’s a good opportunity to do that tomorrow.”

But away from the rivalry, Wenger agrees that both sides are playing catch-up in terms of the title race.

“Of course, but the distance is not big,” he said, adding: “It’s early in the season but first of all we play at the Emirates and we know that it’s important that we are strong there.

“A successful season is down to consistency of results and at the moment that’s what we are looking for.

“We are a long way off the leaders and that’s why we want to come back. We have had that before and, for us, it’s important to make up the ground as quickly as possible.”

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

Latest Arsenal news

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Victor Wanyama of Southampton  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

As the fall-out from transfer deadline day continues, here are the latest top stories from around the web.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Zlatan Ibrahimovic #10 of Paris Saint-Germain (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he had no desire to leave PSG for Arsenal on the last day of the transfer window.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Transfer deadline day is in the books. Here are the big winners and losers from the last day of the window.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Arsene Wenger with Thierry Henry (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Thierry Henry has defended his former manager after Arsene Wenger failed to sign a striker on deadline day.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Jeff Reine-Adelaide of Arsenal is tackled by Timm Klose during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and VfL Wolfsburg.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Jeff Reine-Adelaide has been included in Arsenal’s 25-man Champions League squad for the group stages of the competition.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more