January 23, 2021

Arsene Wenger’s bid to end Arsenal’s November curse hit by injury crisis ahead of Tottenham clash

November 4, 2016

Arsene Wenger has urged his team to end their November curse in Sunday’s North London derby.

But the Arsenal manager has a potential selection crisis, with five players facing fitness tests ahead of the clash with Tottenham.

The Gunners boss has suffered worse results in November than in any other month during his 20-year reign at the club.

And the game against Mauricio Pochettino’s side signals a tough start to November for Arsenal, with Manchester United to follow after the international break before the visit of Bournemouth.

‘We have an opportunity to show we are ready for a challenge like that and do better than we have done historically,’ said Wenger.

‘We have already started November in a positive way. I’m sure this team can face history by showing that we can do better than we have done before.’

But Wenger is sweating on the fitness of Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Hector Bellerin.

Cazorla’s injury means Granit Xhaka could return to the starting line-up after serving a three-match ban for his red card against Swansea last month.

The Switzerland midfielder has been sent off twice already this season, his other red card coming on international duty against Portugal in September.

And Wenger says his £30million summer signing must remain calm in the heat of battle on Sunday.

The Frenchman added: ‘Am I a bit concerned? Yes, because discipline is important and we want to be effective in all situations. In the derby it is important to keep control of your reactions and have strong discipline.

‘Normally he is a very composed and calm guy, but sometimes on the field he has a reaction that is a bit impulsive and he knows that he has to work on that and keep control of his reactions.’

Tottenham, without a win in six games, have problems of their own. Pochettino is without the injured Toby Alderweireld, while Mousa Dembele limped off before half-time in Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. He has an ankle problem and is a major doubt.

Following that loss at Wembley, Spurs captain Hugo Lloris warned his team-mates they are in danger of wasting their season in Europe’s elite competition.

Spurs have only four points from their opening four games and have lost both ‘home’ games at the national stadium.

‘It is difficult to accept that kind of performance from us,’ said France goalkeeper Lloris. ‘It was difficult to recognise the team.

‘In football, you can win, you can lose. The most important thing is the feeling that you show through the pitch, the attitude you show on the pitch. To be honest, the feeling is very bad — it’s difficult to accept that performance.

‘We need to learn about the Champions League. We worked a lot to get into the Champions League and we cannot waste everything.’

Lloris rejected suggestions that Spurs’ poor form should be attributed to the absence of key players in Alderweireld and Harry Kane.

‘We cannot depend on one, two or three players,’ he said. ‘We need to think as a team. We win together and we lose together.

‘We need to learn quickly because there is a big, big game on Sunday.’

Kane is expected to return to the matchday squad after seven weeks on the sidelines injured.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
%d bloggers like this: