Tottenham boss taunts Arsenal ahead of north London derby
HARRY Redknapp has taunted Arsenal ahead of tonight’s derby, insisting that Tottenham have more right to be tired because - unlike the Gunners - Spurs were involved in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Arsene Wenger’s outfit played 102 minutes against Liverpool at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, while the Lilywhites have had a full week to recover from their 1-0 defeat against Real Madrid at White Hart Lane last Wednesday.
However, Redknapp believes that the Gunners can have few excuses tonight and points out that, having lost the Carling Cup final and then crashed out of the Champions League and FA Cup by mid-March, Arsenal have only played four games in the last 39 days.
“We’ve played more games than they have, we’ve been playing in the Champions League. We played Real Madrid last Wednesday,” said the Spurs boss. “It’s Wednesday now. Arsenal will have fully recovered from Sunday’s game, it won’t be a problem.”
However, Redknapp concedes that the Gunners’ dramatic 1-1 draw with Liverpool, and their previous home game - the goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers – have combined to derail their title dream.
“They’ve had a couple of games where they’ve drawn at home - against Blackburn, and then they threw away a great opportunity and only took a point on Sunday,” said Redknapp.
“If they had taken those points, you look at where they would be – and with Manchester United to play at home. They would have been in pole position. It’s amazing how it’s turned out.
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“I could see Arsenal winning the league this year because it was all there. They had no distractions and they just had league games to win.
“You look back at that Saturday recently, Man United were losing 2-0 at half-time to West Ham and you thought, ‘Arsenal have Blackburn at home later on today, this is going to go Arsenal’s way now’.
“Then it was amazing. Man United came back to win the game and Arsenal couldn’t beat Blackburn.”
Arsenal’s faint hopes of winning the league now depend on them beating Tottenham at White Hart Lane tonight, but Redknapp insists that Spurs have just as much to play for.
“We’re still challenging to get that fourth place, in the same way as Arsenal are looking to try to win the championship. There is so much to play for, for both clubs,” said the Lilywhites manager.
“It will be a great game again, for sure. We’ve had some good games against Arsenal since I got here. We drew 4-4 when I first joined and beat them 2-1 last year, and then won at the Emirates this year. That was a great game for us.
“This game is a big one. They are a good side, a top team and they play some great football. We’re looking forward to it, it’s all to play for.”