Arsenal ready for 'crunch time' against Tottenham - Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his side are ready for "crunch time" as they face Tottenham in the North London derby on Saturday.
Arsenal are six points off top spot and missed the chance to close the gap when they lost 2-1 to Swansea last weekend. Now they meet a Spurs side in second place who had put together a fine run of results until their own midweek stutter as they lost at West Ham and also passed up an opportunity to go top of the table.
"They [Spurs] have made progress," Wenger said. "Now this is crunch time in the last 10 games and we will see. That's why maybe everybody has a big interest in the game.
"We have been remarkably consistent over the years. We want to [finish above Tottenham] again, and this game is of big importance because of that."
Wenger knows a victory over Spurs, not only their neighbours but now their title rivals, would help silence the boo-boys as he heads for the cauldron of noise the home fans at White Hart Lane are likely to produce on Saturday.
"We have to be immune to that,'' he said. "We are professional people. You cannot always say that we focus on our job and it's then reverse. We have to provoke the positive reaction from the fans and that's our job.
"It [the derby] will be passionate for sure because there is a lot at stake and it has always been like that.
"I think as well at White Hart Lane the fans are very close, the pitch is not too big. We have maybe more duels than usual in the game on the pitch and the pitch is quick as well so that makes for a very quick game.''