Szczesny lacks respect - AVB
Published 07/05/2013 | 17:42
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has insisted criticism by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will have no impact on his side's quest for Champions League football, which continues at Chelsea.
Following the Gunners' 1-0 win at QPR on Saturday, which followed on from Spurs victory over Southampton, goalkeeper Szczesny claimed their bitter rivals "do not have enough quality" to finish ahead of them.
"He is entitled to his opinion. It is absolutely fine. You don't expect love from an Arsenal player to Tottenham player. If it touches a bit lack of respect, it is normal in a rivalry," Villas-Boas said.
"I think it would have been a little more tolerable if it had come from a genuine Arsenal fan.
"Coming from an Arsenal player, he is an Arsenal player who is probably only passing by to another club, or who is not going to stay there for life. In the end if he means exactly those words from the heart.. he doesn't, for sure.
"I wouldn't say that an Arsenal fan (player) that has just arrived in that club for the last couple of years is entitled to so much hatred towards Tottenham like he seems to have."
Spurs head to Stamford Bridge in fifth place, but just two points behind Arsenal and three from Chelsea.
Villas-Boas, 35, was sacked by Chelsea in March 2012 only nine months after they had paid Porto some £13million compensation to bring him back to the club where he worked as part of Jose Mourinho's coaching team.
The Portuguese, however, insists there will be nothing "special" about the return which will be the first since his departure.
"It is a club which I have gone past," said the 35-year-old, who was appointed by Spurs last July as Harry Redknapp's successor. "I have good and bad memories like everyone else, but it was a period which did not finish the way I would have liked."