Arsenal always want to win every game we play, of course, and just like any local derby the games against Tottenham take on extra significance. Arsene Wenger clearly understands the passion of the north London derby after being our manager for more than 20 years and with most of our players having been with us for quite a while you would assume that they do as well.
But it is also true that quite often a local derby ends up in a draw and there is certainly a feeling that a point is not a bad result as it is vital not to lose. That may account for the somewhat surprising statistic that the team that takes the lead in the matches between Arsenal and Spurs has failed to go on and win 23 times and that is a Premier League record.
This time the boss is determined that we do not settle for a draw but make sure that our recent superiority is repeated on Sunday and that it results in all three points for the Gunners.
Wenger told the Arsenal website, “Maybe subconsciously sometimes when the team comes back to draw, both teams subconsciously say ‘OK at least it is a result we can live with’.
“But we play at home on Sunday, and we want to win the game. It is an important fixture, yes, but for us overall in the situation we are in it’s a big game that we need to win and we will absolutely focus on that.
“We are in a strong position in the league and we want to strengthen this position. It’s a derby and before a derby you need to prepare mentally as well to be at your best, to fight no matter what happens and as well to be effective. That means mastering every situation we face on the day. You prepare mentally for that.”
The Frenchman also said that he has noticed this week that everyone is more on alert with the Spurs game approaching, so will the players take on his words and settle for nothing less than derby delight?