The Arsenal midfielder admits the side cannot lose on Sunday if they want to catch up with their north London rivals, and insists a win is essential for morale
Santi Cazorla is eyeing a victory on Sunday as Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane, where a win for Tottenham would see Andre Villas-Boas’ side create a seven-point gap that the midfielder fears could prove too difficult to close.
This will be the playmaker’s second north London derby, his first one in November having resulted in a 5-2 victory for Arsene Wenger’s side at the Emirates Stadium.
However, Cazorla is wary that a defeat could jeopardise his club’s prospects of Champions League football next season.
“This is a very important match for us with regard to the Champions League,” Cazorla said in the Daily Mail.
“If we lose it would be a difference of seven points, too big a gap.
“It’s true we’ve been inconsistent. We didn’t make it through in the Capital One Cup or the FA Cup but our aim is to be in the Champions League and hopefully we’ll improve through the rest of the season.
“A win at Tottenham would invigorate the whole team. We’re two points away from Chelsea but if we win this we will be one away from Tottenham.”
Cazorla has enjiyed personal success at Arsenal this season, with his current haul of 11 goals already bettering last season’s total of nine whilst at Malaga.
The former Liga star believes his freedom when playing in the Premier League is the reason for his higher goals return.
He added: “Compared to Spain, the football here is less tactical, but more fun to watch and play. There’s too much technique in Spain and they are held back by it. This makes the match more boring. There’s a better pace in England.
“There’s also more space, especially for footballers like me, and more time to think. Teams always want to attack and score goals in England. In Spain they are locked down by tactics. And the atmosphere here is just amazing.”