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Wenger on Kane and how much his new signings know about the derby

09 February 2018|Tottenham Hotspur

Arsene Wenger says it’s all about the numbers when it comes to Harry Kane.

Many opposing managers are asked about how they’ll set their stall out against our home-grown hit man in advance of games and, ahead of Saturday’s north London derby at Wembley, the Arsenal boss has been having his say on the man who, last week at Liverpool, broke the 100-goal barrier in the Premier League.

Asked by reporters whether there’s a better striker in Europe than Harry at the moment, Wenger said: “If you look at the numbers, no, because he has high numbers.

“What you want in a game like that is to keep him quiet and our strikers, who are top class in Europe as well, to express their talent.”

Pressed on possible ways for his defenders to contain Harry and the rest of our attacking players, Wenger went on: “The answer will be on Saturday. We can talk and talk and talk, but at the end of the day it is the numbers that will show that.

“The best way to defend is for us to have the ball and to take the game to them, and after – when we don’t have the ball – to defend as a team.”

The Gunners made some high-profile attacking recruitments in the January transfer window with Henrikh Mkhitaryan arriving from Manchester United and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming in from German side Borussia Dortmund.

Both players caused us real problems for Dortmund when we played them in the Europa League in 2015-16 and Wenger says they, along with the other players Arsenal have brought in over the last couple of years, need no educating as to the importance of the north London derby.

“The players know because we’ve had many players who have been here for years,” he said. “The good thing in sport is that you have to find a good balance between being rational and emotional. As much as you have to certainly be emotionally-charged because of the importance of the game and needing to get the high energy level, once you’re on the pitch you have to be calm, focused and make good decisions. That’s why you can’t let the emotions take over. At the end of the day, it’s down to making good decisions on the football pitch.”