'You have to be disciplined, composed'

Sunday’s north London derby will be Arsene Wenger’s 48th since his arrival at Arsenal 20 years ago - and he knows exactly what to expect from the game.

Read on for the boss’ final words ahead of the game at Emirates Stadium as he discusses the rivalry with Tottenham:

 on whether Tottenham can become bigger than Arsenal...
I don’t think about Tottenham like that. I think about Arsenal and making us as big as possible, making us stronger. We have a strong fanbase, maybe the strongest in London and as long as we do our job Arsenal will always be the stronger.

on Tottenham building a new stadium and wanting to be bigger…
Yes, but no position is guaranteed. It’s about doing our job, but at the end of the day everything is decided by what happens on the pitch. That is what the size of a club is about, consistency at the top level… that is what size is about. That is just down to us.

on whether stability at Tottenham makes this a better derby now…
Yes, of course. The better the two teams are, the better the derby will be. In every city you want that rivalry. At the moment both teams are doing well so that’s why I think that is why this one is more interesting.

on why mentality is so important to this game…
That you prepare to be at your best, that you prepare for the intensity of the game mentally and you keep your discipline and your composure despite that fact it is a big game. That is important. But at the end of the day, I find it is important to keep that fine balance between motivation, attitude, composure and relaxed. If you look at the number of fouls in the Premier League I think you will see we are the best in numbers [for not fouling]. They are in our favour so we just have to keep doing what we are doing well.

It is important you keep your discipline, that you focus on football, no matter how big the game is. It can sometimes get a bit tense, but sometimes you can have games that are heated from the first to the last minute. Sometimes you have just two or three moments in the game when it becomes absolutely heated but you have master the situation when it happens.

on what advice you would give to Tottenham moving into their new stadium…
I believe in a situation like that you focus on your team. You do not go into this game believing Spurs might have more spectators or fans. Instead you for focus on you performance on Sunday and it is early in the season and no matter what happens, I believe it is too early to make a prognosis on what will happen at the end of the season.

on the team’s record in November…
I am aware of that but we have to show the effectiveness of our performances on the pitch. We play to win the games and it is to win or not to win that gives that verdict.

on how he rates the Tottenham team…
I don’t know if it is the best team I have seen in 20 years. I am not sure - they’ve had some good teams. They have been more stable at the top [recently] and two years ago they played in the Champions League. Last season they didn’t.


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