Arsenal boss Wenger offers advice to Spurs counterpart Pochettino on how to win silverware
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Arsene Wenger has offered his Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino advice on how to win a trophy – saying his team have to overcome the ‘fear’ of failing if they want to win silverware this season.
Spurs have seen an improvement since former Argentina defender Pochettino arrived in N17 from Southampton as they finished ahead of Arsenal for the first time in Wenger’s 21 seasons in charge.
Pochettino’s Lillywhites ended last season as runners-up to Chelsea but despite earning plaudits for the quality of their play Arsenal picked up the FA Cup for third time in four years, as Spurs trophy drought stretched to nine years since lifting the League Cup in 2008.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s eagerly-awaited North London derby Wenger cautioned his counterpart by sharing his advice of how to get his team over the line: “You have to keep your nerve and getting the players to focus on what is important.
“You have to fight a little bit against your inhibitions - the fear that you won’t get over the line.
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“You need to focus on what is important and not focus on the trophy too much.”
Wenger’s Arsenal have not beaten Spurs in the Premier League for three years and finished 11 points behind their near-neighbours – even if their rivals haven’t triumphed at the Emirates since 2010.
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However the long-serving Frenchman shrugged off perceptions of a gap between the two giants, insisting he has been more focussed on ensuring Arsenal return to the Champions League by ending the season in the top four, after a proud record of never failing to qualify for Europe’s top competition.
Wenger said: “I was always more focused on finishing in the Champions League. When we had less resources financially I knew that we needed the money to pay the stadium back, so I was more focused on that than on Tottenham. I was never too focused on Tottenham.
“Today, people always take one situation and it is permanent. The judgement is definite, permanent and forever.
“It is down to us to change the opinions of people with our performances, I cannot say much more.
“If they have a perception like that they have a perception like that but how can you respond? Not by me talking here, we need to show on Saturday that it’s not true.”