Search

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

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

06:00
Mesut Ozil of Arsenal  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects Mesut Ozil to reach double figures in goals for the Gunners this season.

Petr Cech of Arsenal looks on (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger believes goalkeeper Petr Cech could still play at the top level for six years with Arsenal.

Yesterday, 05:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is keen to preserve the stability and consistency within his squad this summer.

Thu, 12:03
Dawid Malan inT20 action for Middlesex against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan feels the county’s Twenty20 fortunes would improve if the tournament were streamlined over a shorter period of time.

Most read sport

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder