Arsene Wenger insists he is not worried about Tottenham’s ambitious stadium plans, claiming the Gunners will always be stronger than their North London rivals.
Tottenham recently completed a deal to play their home Champions League games at the Wembley Stadium this season and all their home games at the venue next season as they continue their redevelopment of White Hart Lane. The £400 million stadium is expected to be completed by the 2018/19 season.
Arsenal went through a period of severe financial restraint after a similar move engineered by Wenger himself, when they built and finally moved to the Emirates Stadium — known as Ashburton Grove prior to sponsorship — in 2006.
However, the Frenchman feels that Tottenham’s ambitious plans will not threaten the supremacy of his club. “I don’t think about Tottenham like that. I think about Arsenal and making us as big as possible, making us stronger,” said Wenger, according to the Telegraph.
“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.
“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 just down to us.”
Tottenham have failed to finish above Arsenal in the Premier League since Wenger took over in 1996, but it is undeniable that they have closed the gap to their rivals. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were considered title favourites going into the tail end of last season, while Arsene Wenger’s men had already faltered and fallen too far behind.
Spurs failed to capitalise on their neighbours poor form, however, and a poor run of results saw Arsenal eventually pip them to second spot on the final day of the campaign despite never even being in the title race.
It was a bitter pill for Mauricio Pochettino and his side to swallow, and they will be hoping to make amends for it on Sunday when they travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal in what promises to be a pulsating North London derby.