Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has claimed that the north London derby has lost its edge over recent seasons.
Merson spent twelve seasons at Arsenal and having been involved in many clashes against Tottenham, knows first hand how fierce the rivalry is between both the clubs.
With Mauricio Pochettino having been sacked by Tottenham last month, there have been reports linking him with a move to Arsenal (the Athletic).
While some have questioned whether the Argentine would be prepared to move to Arsenal and destroy his Tottenham legacy in the process, Merson insisted that Pochettino’s association with Spurs didn’t matter anymore as modern-day Arsenal and Tottenham players don’t see the north London derby as their biggest game of the season.
The 51-year-old urged his former club to go for Pochettino but admitted he didn’t know if the former Spurs boss will be keen on joining Arsenal.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ The Debate on (02/12/2019 at 10:40 pm) Merson said, “I think them days are long gone of Arsenal-Tottenham. It’s not their biggest game anymore.
“If you ask the Arsenal players and the Tottenham players, I think they would rather beat Chelsea or Man United. You ask the foreign players [of Arsenal and Tottenham] they have grown up watching Man United, and teams like that. They want to beat Man United.
“Tottenham and Arsenal isn’t the biggest game anymore. For the fans it is, but it’s not for the players. If I was Arsenal, I would get Pochettino. Would he go? I don’t know.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I believe Merson is completely wrong here as you can tell based on the intensity of the last few derby games that both sets of players understand what the fixture means to the fans. The north London derby will always be one of the biggest fixtures in the English football calendar as the homegrown players and fans will make sure that the foreign players playing for either side understand the meaning of the fixture.
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