Spurs v Arsenal - Mauricio's preview
Fri 01 March 2019, 18:15|Tottenham Hotspur
If history tells us anything about the north London derby, it’s to expect the unexpected - something Mauricio Pochettino has learned in approaching five years at Spurs and 11 derbies so far.
The latest clash at Wembley on Saturday is another huge one. We go into it on the back of two straight defeats, a rarity in the Premier League in Mauricio’s time at the Club. Arsenal, meanwhile, have won four straight including three in the league and have moved to within four points of us.
So what has he learned in 11 derbies so far? “I’ve learned that every game is completely different and you cannot guess what is going to happen,” he said.
“You need to be ready for different circumstances. It’s always special, always different. I’ve learned that if you have a lot of experience playing this type of game, it shows you the more times you play, you understand that it’s not a plan, it’s to play with your heart, to play with focus and try to deliver your best.
“One game and another game is never similar. We saw that when we played in the Premier League and then the Carabao Cup (in December), two different results (4-2 loss, 2-0 win), performances and two completely different games. We need to be ready for all circumstances that can happen in the game.”
Disappointment was palpable after Wednesday night’s loss at Stamford Bridge and the focus has very much been on bouncing back against the Gunners at Wembley.
Speaking on Friday, Mauricio told us: “The team was so down but now is no time to cry, it’s time to recover and be ready. I think it’s a moment not to talk too much because it’s more to act and show our quality in the game. We know and all the people know that we need to play better if we want to win.
“We know very well what it means to play against Arsenal, what it means to our fans and for us and we need to be sure we arrive in very good condition. Like I said, it’s not a moment to talk too much, it’s time to act and deliver on the pitch.
“Of course, it’s going to be tough. Arsenal have a very good team, it’s a derby and when it’s a derby, it’s not only a game of football, it’s more than that.
“We know that very well, our fans know very well, we will have their support and it will be decisive. All together we need to create a very good atmosphere to help the team to win.
"It’s so important and the pressure is on them too. Always when you play a derby it’s a pressure for both teams. We are four points clear, we need to keep that advantage and it’s a good opportunity to increase it on Saturday. We need to perform in our best way.”