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Saturday 21 April 2018

Tottenham's stadium move does not guarantee success - Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger thinks a new stadium does not always equal success
Arsene Wenger thinks a new stadium does not always equal success

Arsene Wenger insists Tottenham's move to their new stadium will not automatically bring success.

The Arsenal boss also warned that his side will always fight to maintain the stranglehold on North London football.

Spurs are set to move into their new 61,000-seater home from the 2018/19 season onwards, meaning they will boast the biggest club venue in the capital.

They make the short hop to Arsenal's 60,432 capacity Emirates Stadium on Sunday as the neighbours battle it out to boost their respective title hopes.

The Gunners completed their move away from Highbury in 2006 and suffered financially for the next few seasons as they paid off the build.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted on the eve of the contest that the club cannot compete financially with Arsenal while their new stadium is constructed.

Arsenal counterpart Wenger thinks even after Tottenham take up residence, they are not guaranteed to overtake their greatest rivals.

When asked if Spurs could become a bigger club than Arsenal, the Frenchman said: "Look, I don't think about Tottenham like that.

"I think about Arsenal and make us as big as possible, make us stronger. stronger.

"We have a strong fan base, maybe the strongest in London and as long as we do our job Arsenal will always be the stronger."

When it was put to him that Tottenham's stadium is a move to make them the bigger of the two clubs, Wenger added: "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."

While backing Arsenal to maintain their recent dominance over Spurs - Wenger has never finished below them in his 20-year tenure - the 67-year-old is glad to see that the pair are now doing battle at the business end of the Premier League.

"Of course the better the two teams are, the better the derby will be," he added. "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.

"You prepare to be at your best, that you prepare for the intensity of the game mentally and you keep you discipline and your composure despite that fact it is a big game. That is important."

Arsenal go into the season's first north London derby on the back of a 3-2 win over Ludogorets which sealed their progression into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Wenger has injury concerns over Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs, Hector Bellerin and Santi Cazorla, although only the latter is expected to miss out completely.

Press Association

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