Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League, White Hart Lane
Sunday, February 08, 2009, 13:30
It’s a big, big game today. A huge game. We drew 4-4 at the Emirates, and being 4-2 up in the final few minutes, that result hurt. Today we really need the likes of Adebayor to have a game. The Togan has been out of sorts of late, but he does have a very good striking record against Sp*rs. Arsene highlighted this in his press conference on Friday.
“Adebayor has a good record against Tottenham. But we have good players and simply that is the best reason to explain it. Before him, Robert Pires had a good record. Sometimes, I thought about not playing him at the start because it was [a] kicking and tackling game and he was not a tackling player. Then I would put him on at half time and he turned up with a goal because he was relaxed.”
Arsene also talked about Ade’s form and how his desire to leave in summer has affected his performances.
“I believe we have always tried to set good scoring and assists records. I am convinced that Adebayor has not been affected by Van Persie’s successful season. Van Persie has been so successful because he has played in every game. I believe that at the start Adebayor was a little bit disturbed thinking ‘do I go’. But he is getting back on track slowly now and I’m sure the goals will come.”
The line up today will see Eboue come back in and most probably Arshavin on the bench. Gallas, I believe, is to be restored to the team and Toure – who’s recently rediscovered his form.
| Van Persie
And on the bench, we’ll see Fabianski, Toure, Ramsey, Wilshere, Arshavin, Vela and Bendtner.
The manager has been very talkative ahead of the game and has been discussing the will to win rather than the will for Sp*rs not to win.
“I am just focused on us doing well. I want Arsenal to do well more than Tottenham not do well. What is important for us is that we play at the top. Usually, I don’t look at the neighbours and think ‘is he doing well or not?’ You just want yourself to do well. Tottenham have always been interesting games but, in fairness, over the last 10 years we have been more focused on Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. Of course, we were conscious that against Tottenham we couldn’t afford to slip-up and drop points; it could be costly. You know that if you want to do well in the title race, one of the big games you couldn’t afford to drop points in was Tottenham because it’s a special rivalry. But this year I believe that they want to get out of the relegation zone and we want to come back to the top four so there is a bit more pressure on both teams.”
We have to make sure we focus on our game. We must win. We must close the gap to the top four to 3 points. It is our opportunity to do so today and there won’t be too many more opportunities. Unfortunately, the whole return of Keane and then the Keane is captain thing will add more spice to Sp*rs. But we have the quality, I just hope we put a game in.
Come on boys, do us proud!]]>