Sansom: Arsenal must handle Spurs’ start and not make mistakes

Date: Friday 9th February 2018 at 10:24 pm
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Former Arsenal skipper Kenny Sansom says the Gunners must be ready for Tottenham to attack from the off, in Saturday’s north London derby.

When I played, the derby was massive for the fans. It was huge, the biggest game of the season. You had to finish above them and be the north London giants.

I’m not sure it means as much for the modern fans: I think they hated each other then, perhaps not so much now. Back then, it didn’t matter if you finished 5th, as long as you finished above them!

I think the balance between the two clubs is very close. With Spurs getting a new stadium, if you ask their fans, they’d say they’re the biggest club. And Arsenal fans would say the same about Arsenal.

Aubameyang looks a great signing, a real team player, but I still think you lose out when you lose someone like Sanchez. With Walcott, some days he was great, but some days he couldn’t cross or shoot. But Sanchez is a miss. When I saw him at Palace, he was playing right-back at times and scored two great goals. So he’s certainly a miss.

I’m really really disappointed to see Giroud leave. With Chelsea, they’re in and out. One week they perform, one week they don’t. I don’t think Giroud played enough at Arsenal. I think if he played more, he’d have done better. I’m quite gutted personally that he’s left.

I think Cech has to look at how he faces penalties. More are being given these days and he needs to address his record. All he’s doing now is giving opponents an advantage. Players will have confidence taking a penalty against him.

That’s where management and coaching comes in. Cech should be saying to himself: “I need people taking penalties against me in training”. It’s about the individual players wanting to improve. The more he doesn’t save them, the less confidence he’ll have about saving them.

I think the Wembley factor can help Arsenal. They have a great record there and have great confidence. Tottenham will be aware of that. It’ll be interesting in the first 20-25 minutes, how both teams attack the game.

I think Spurs will go right at Arsenal from the off and Arsenal will have to do their job at the back, as a team. Kane of course is a great player, Alli too. It’s very hard to call. Arsenal must be at their best, as Tottenham will make chances.

Arsenal have a League Cup Final coming up back at Wembley soon, so Saturday’s game is massive for Arsenal. You could argue, it’s a bigger game for Arsenal than it is for Spurs. Arsenal must handle the start and not makes mistakes. Then it could be a low-scoring game. Two or three goals, max.

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