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AVB backs Wenger ahead of derby

Andre Villas-Boas may be trying to beat Arsene Wenger in the North London derby on Saturday but that doesn't mean he can't back him.

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The Tottenham boss warned any dissenting Arsenal supporters to be careful of what they wish for in terms of demanding a change of manager, and argued that Wenger has a knack for repeatedly qualifying for the Champions League despite any early-season problems.

The two teams are set to meet tomorrow under a similar amount of pressure, with Tottenham having only won one game in four and Arsenal enduring their worst start to a season since 1982-83.

"It's the nature of humans," Villas-Boas said. "When you are in one place you always are willing for a change or prepared to change to something positive. When change happens you see what you were missing at first.

"I don't know if that will be the case or not, I certainly feel he has delivered what Arsenal want for the last years and continues to be one of the great managers.

"They are very focused and always bounce back from negative results. They have that ability to reach their final objectives in the end. Their objectives are being [in the] Champions League so they share the same objectives as us. "The problem is they were winners in the past and people want a little bit more. In terms of trophies we would like that too and I think they showed they are always up there competing for the latter stages of the Champions League and for the cups and Champions League qualification.

"Last year was the same. He has raised the expectations by being a winner in the past and what people expect from Arsenal. What Arsenal fans expect is seeing trophies and seeing them back where Wenger put them in the past.

"Certainly, he might be paying the price for the expectations that he [raised]. But I think he continues to be one of the greatest managers of all time and continues to have success."

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