Szczesny in dig at Spurs
Wojciech Szczesny has reignited his war of words with Tottenham by claiming that Arsenal's north London rivals do not have enough quality to finish inside the top four this season.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham remain locked in a tight battle for the final two Champions League places after they all achieved 1-0 victories over the weekend. Of the three, Spurs appear the most likely to fail. Andre Villas-Boas' men warmed up for their huge game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night by limping to a narrow win over Southampton.
As fans from both Spurs and Arsenal will be aware, Szczesny last year repeatedly declared his dislike for the "the other north London club" - a club he conceded on one occasion that he "hates". And after the win over QPR took them two points above Spurs, Szczesny told Arsenal Player: "I was convinced that Tottenham had drawn 0-0 against Southampton."
He added: "I only found out after the game that they had won 1-0, but I don't think it matters really.
"If we win our next two games it will be enough because either Chelsea or Spurs will drop points because they play each other. If you look at Chelsea's fixtures, they have Tottenham and Everton left and they won't be easy games. And Tottenham do not have enough quality, so there you go..."
Anyone who watched the first 85 minutes of Tottenham's game against relegation-threatened Southampton would be inclined to agree with Szczesny's assessment. Villas-Boas' side lacked creativity in midfield and looked toothless up front until Bale's late 25-yard drive clinched a dramatic win.
But then again, Arsenal were hardly vintage in their win over a QPR side who had not won their previous six games. Arsenal were notorious for grinding out 1-0 victories during their heyday, though, and Szczesny hopes the team's current form - they are unbeaten in nine - will be the start of something special for the club, who last won a trophy eight years ago.
"I would settle for another two 1-0 wins in the rest of the season and a place in the top three," Szczesny said. "Even if we have games like the QPR one, it might have been boring at times, but we couldn't care less at this time. We just got the three points.
"Hopefully it will be back to the old days and hopefully we will get back to winning trophies as well."
Arsenal appeared to try to dampen the furore created by Szczesny's comments by cutting the Pole's answer on Spurs from their interview with him on the subscription-only video player section of their website. The final question and answer from the interview, conducted by Arsenal's in-house TV operation, was deleted, shortening the video package by roughly 10 seconds.