James Maddison has said that he cannot wait to get a first taste of the North London Derby, admitting that he has had a bit of banter about the game with the Arsenal players in the England squad.

Tottenham have a poor record at the Emirates and undoubtedly go into the game as underdogs, particularly with Mikel Arteta’s men looking to go toe-to-toe with Manchester City for the Premier League title this season.

However, the Lilywhites go into the game high on confidence after their dramatic late turnaround against Sheffield United, and Maddison admitted that he has never experienced the sort of feeling he had last Saturday.

The attacking midfielder told Sky Sports: “We don’t want to get too carried away. It’s our job to stay focused and keep going. But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel like there’s something special in the air at the minute.

“Just because of the feeling and the way we won against Sheffield United… I’ve never experienced something like that.”

Son Heung-min insisted earlier in the week that Arsenal would not want to be playing Tottenham at this time (The Times) and that is a sentiment that Maddison echoed, revealing that he had spoken with some of the Gunners stars about the clash.

James Maddison of England arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying round group C match between Malta and England

VALLETTA, MALTA – JUNE 16: James Maddison of England arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying round group C match between Malta and England at Ta’ Qali Stadium on June 16, 2023 in Valletta, Malta. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Maddison has been bantering the Arsenal players

The 26-year-old said: “If you ask the Arsenal camp, I don’t think it’s a brilliant time that they’d want to play us because we’ve started the season well.

“I had a little bit of banter with Bukayo [Saka] and Rammers [Aaron Ramsdale] and Declan [Rice] on England duty, all in good spirit, and I’m really looking forward to the game.

“It’s these big occasions where we have to show we can progress as a team and continue these results on the big occasions. We want to show the Tottenham way and the new way we’ve got of playing under this manager.”

However, Maddison acknowledged that Arsenal are much further along in their process while Spurs are only at the start of their new project under Ange Postecoglou.

He added: “We’re still early in the manager’s reign but if you’re a fan that’s been watching you’ll have seen changes to the team. We’re not at the end goal yet because it’s a process and takes a long time.

“Just like you saw with Mikel Arteta, he went in and had a bit of a shaky start at times and now Arsenal are one of the most consistent performers in the league last year and were very close to winning the title.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It will not be a disaster for Tottenham if we lose as there is no doubt that Arsenal are better than us at this stage. However, the Gunners have to win this game, given that they have title ambitions. 

Even though I do not expect us to get anything from this game, I am looking forward to seeing us trying to take the game to Arsenal on their own turf.

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