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It's showtime for Steffen

Posted on 17 November 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Steffen Freund is relishing the prospect of locking horns with Patrick Vieira in the heat of today's derby battle.

Our midfield marauder describes Arsenal's World Cup winner as the most complete midfielder around at the moment.

The French star has certainly done his fair share of damage against us in his time at the Gunners, not least in last April's FA Cup semi-final when he capped a superb display with the equaliser and setting up the winner. He also headed home a last-minute equaliser in the league game at the Lane.

But Steffen says he will stick like glue to Vieira as we attempt to take the three points that will leapfrog us above Arsenal in the Premiership.

"Everyone knows Patrick is the key man in the Arsenal team," said Steffen. "If he is in good form, Arsenal play well.

"If he's not then perhaps they have a bad day like last time against Charlton when they did not win. For me, he's the most important player in the Arsenal squad.

"I know him well, I've played against him a few times and I like his style of football. He is a very complete player, no weaknesses and that makes him so strong.

"But I'm sure it is not easy for him to play against me because I stay tight and make it difficult for him.

"Sometimes he can be a little aggressive and that is a chance he might make a mistake.

"He is everywhere but you have to try and beat him. Don't let him play. If you catch him one time and he reacts, don't stop, do it again because then he knows there is someone there who makes it difficult for him.

"If you stop trying to beat him then you will lose the one-on-one situation and perhaps the game. You have to tell him always that it is not easy for him to beat you."

Steffen suggested Vieira was the best around at the moment with Manchester United's Roy Keane struggling with injury.

"He is one of the best midfielders around, if not the best," he added. "Roy Keane has had a few injury problems in the last few months but I like Roy also, he is strong, complete as well, you can't find weaknesses.

"I like them both but maybe at the moment Patrick is best."