By Chris Harris
It didn't need a nine-goal salvo to remind Arsène Wenger that Tottenham are genuine contenders for a top-four finish.
But then again, it doesn't matter how many goals Spurs rattle in because the Arsenal manager is only concerned about his own side.
Harry Redknapp's team are the talk of the town after thrashing Wigan 9-1 at White Hart Lane on Sunday - the second-largest win in Premier League history.
A good weekend for the white half of North London was enhanced by Arsenal's defeat at Sunderland, a result which allowed Spurs to draw level with their local rivals in the top four.
So did Tottenham's goal rush deepen the gloom Wenger was already feeling after watching his side lose on Wearside? The Frenchman's reply was instant and unequivocal.
"Not at all," he said. "What has that to do with it?
"What is important is that if you want to be petty in life you look at what others do. If you want to be big in life you look at your own performance.
"That's what I want us to do. Look at your own performance, make sure you perform. If you perform well then it doesn't matter what the others do.
"If you want to be petty, you need the others to be petty as well to exist. It's first why you need to be big. It's much more important."
Wenger engineered an emphatic win of his own over Tottenham last month but he expects them to be there or thereabouts when the scrap for Champions League places intensifies in the New Year.
"Of course they are competition for us. Why not? Every year they are competition for us," said the Arsenal manager.
"There are 10 teams who are genuine top-four contenders. As much as Tottenham you have Aston Villa, Manchester City, plenty of teams who are top-four contenders."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Nov 2009