The Gunners legend highlighted his former side’s “absolutely amazing” record at the home of their local rivals and insists Arsene Wenger’s men are still in the title race
By Harry Sherlock
Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn believes White Hart Lane holds no fear for his former side so expects a Tottenham loss in the north London derby on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s side were defeated 2-1 the last time they made the short journey across the capital, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon on the scoresheet.
But with Spurs currently struggling in the league – especially against those vying for the title – Winterburn believes the Gunners have no reason to be afraid due to their “amazing” record at the Lane.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a fear factor,” he told Goal. “If you look at Arsenal’s record, and I’m not just saying this because I played for Arsenal, it is just absolutely amazing against Tottenham – despite them coming back into it in the last few years.
“I don’t think Arsenal have that fear factor there. They’ve won the title there, they’ve won games there, I think Arsenal believe that if they play to the best of their abilities they will win.
“There’s a lot going on at Tottenham at the moment as well, there’s some uncertainty there, and I think that’s what Arsenal need to use to their advantage at the weekend.
“But with a player like Bale, an individual player in the form that he was in at the time, he had that difference to turn the game on its head very quickly. Have Tottenham got that player at the moment? I don’t know, certainly not as good as Bale.”
Arsenal were beaten by Stoke City in their last Premier League outing and Winterburn readily admits his former side are the “outsiders” in the title race – but remains confident of finishing top come May.
“They are still in the title race, there’s no doubt about that,” he added. “I think they’ll be one of the outsiders for it now, simply because of where they’ve been through most of the season and where they are now.
“They’ve dropped a few points, people are looking at their injury list and a lot of people feel Chelsea and Manchester City are stronger than them, while Liverpool are in really good form.
“But, importantly, if you look at their fixture list coming up it’s incredibly difficult. They are the outsiders but they’re still in the title race.
“I think its easy to dismiss teams at the end of the season, and to say ‘oh well, I told you so, they were never in the title race’. They are in the title race.
“But whether they’ll be strong enough and have enough belief to be able to come through this difficult period and overtake the other three teams… many will have doubts. It’s just a case of sitting back and waiting.”