Former Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle believes that only a tactical masterplan will be enough for them to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side head into the north London derby off the back of a 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, which stretched their run to six consecutive matches without a win.
With Arsene Wenger’s Gunners having won 10 of their last 11 in all competitions, Hoddle feels that Spurs are firmly up against it, although he does not think the result will be pivotal to either side’s Premier League campaign.
“I think Arsenal are playing some really good football at the moment, Spurs are stuttering a little bit with draws, they haven’t really punished teams,” said the former England boss. “I think Spurs to get the result will have to be tactically acute.
“You know the rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal, if Spurs win it would be great for the fans, great for the points situation but it’s so tight up the top there. Who ever wins or loses it, it’s not going to define the season.”
Ossie Ardiles, who spent 10 years at White Hart Lane as a player before spells as both manager and sporting director, has warned of the dire mental impact of defeat.
“Who ever wins on Sunday, it’s going to be an injection of confidence, who ever loses they will be some doubts and doubts start to creep in and so and so,” said the Argentine.
“Without a doubt don’t lose the game because it stays with you for a while.”
Former goalkeeper Pat Jennings, who crossed the divide when he left Arsenal to join Spurs in 1977, says players are almost too afraid of defeat to want to play in the derby.
“They were games you didn’t really want to play in because you didn’t want to lose them and those were the two games under Bill Nicholson, that we had to win,” said the Northern Ireland great. “We knew how important it was to supporters to win the match.”