June 19 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, March 1, 2013
Arsene Wenger says he will not make special plans to deal with the threat of Gareth Bale when Arsenal clash against bitter rivals Tottenham in Sunday’s north London derby at White Hart Lane.
Spurs’ flying winger has been in imperious form this term and scored twice in his last outing, including a last minute wonder strike to beat West Ham United.
That ensured that the Welshman has netted eight out of the Lilywhites’ last 10 goals, with Hammers boss Sam Allardyce admitting that he beat his side single handedly.
The Gunners manager, however, revealed he has not put any special focus on the 23-year-old, even though first choice full-back Bacary Sagna will miss the clash with a knee injury.
Asked what he will do instead, Wenger said: “Always the same – focus on our strengths and forget about your opponent.
“We don’t plan for anybody.”
He added: “He’s not the subject of our worry for the next two or three days. We just want to prepare.
“We have great players in our team and it would be a complete mistake to focus on any player from Tottenham.”
Bale’s match-winning performance on Monday night at Upton Park led Allardyce to value the Spurs ace at £50million.
Wenger said: “I don’t like to speak about £50million. In England it’s always about numbers when you speak about a football player.
“I don’t see a number on his shirt, I see his qualities, his deficiencies, what he can improve and how good he can become.
“I love football and all the rest, the numbers, is of little interest for me.”
Reports of a summer bid for Bale from Real Madrid in the summer have also gathered pace, but Wenger is not convinced the full-back turned attacker needs to leave the Premier League to improve.
“I think everybody wants to come to England,” the Arsenal boss said, adding: “I don’t know why the English players should go abroad.
“We have the best league in the world, the most passionate and the most interesting as well, so I don’t see why any player should go abroad.
“All the players that have gone abroad, when I speak to them, they want to come back.”