Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have it in their power to “always be the stronger” of the North London clubs as his side prepare to resume their rivalry with Tottenham on Sunday.
Tottenham have earned a Champions League place and are set to move into their new 61,000-seater stadium from the 2018-19 season, meaning they will boast the biggest club venue in the capital.
But Wenger, who watched Arsenal suffer financially after a move away from Highbury in 2006, thinks that even after Tottenham take up residence in their new home, they are not guaranteed to overtake their greatest rivals.
When asked if Spurs could become a bigger club than Arsenal, the Frenchman said: “Look, I don’t think about Tottenham like that.
“I think about Arsenal and make us as big as possible, make us stronger.
“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.”
When it was put to Wenger that Tottenham’s stadium is a move to make them the bigger of the two clubs, Wenger added: “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 what size is about.”
While backing Arsenal to maintain their recent dominance over Spurs — Wenger has never finished below them in his 20-year tenure — the 67-year-old is glad to see that the pair are now doing battle at the business end of the Premier League.
“Of course the better the two teams are, the better the derby will be,” he added. “In every city you want that rivalry. At the moment both teams are doing well so that’s why I think that is why this one is more interesting.
“You prepare to be at your best, that you prepare for the intensity of the game mentally and you keep you discipline and your composure despite that fact it is a big game. That is important.”
Meanwhile, Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris called upon his team to prove they belong among the elite with a strong performance at the season’s first North London derby at the Emirates.
“You cannot pretend to be a challenger, you cannot pretend to be a big club in Europe if you’re not ready to compete,” Lloris told multiple national newspapers. “We know it is just not good enough.
“You know you can win in football but the most important thing is to play the right way. There will be a lot of expectation. It’s always important to the players and the fans.
“I hope we’re going to bounce back and put a great performance. If we win or lose we cannot leave the pitch with the same feeling we had on Wednesday [in the Champions League].”
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate