Vertonghen: Tottenham in high spirits heading into Arsenal game

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Jan Vertonghen is desperate for Tottenham to continue their winning run when they host north London rivals Arsenal on Wednesday.

Spurs have won their past three fixtures, against Sunderland, Qarabag and Crystal Palace, and now turn their attention to Arsene Wenger’s men in their Capital One Cup third-round tie.

After a slow start to the season optimism again surrounds Mauricio Pochettino’s team, though the visit of Arsenal is followed by a run of games against Manchester City, Monaco, Swansea and Liverpool.

Vertonghen knows the importance of beating Arsenal for the fans, but also to keep the momentum going ahead of such a tough set of fixtures.

The former Ajax defender said: “In the league we have City, Swansea and Liverpool coming for us. So it was very important to win (against Crystal Palace on Sunday).

“And in the Europa League we want to involve all the players. We have a big squad and it was very important to win to go to Arsenal on Wednesday.

“I don’t know who’s going to play (against Arsenal) but whoever does, everyone knows how important those games are for us and for the fans. We will play a strong team, I guess, and hopefully get the same result.

“I think I lost only once or twice (to Arsenal) and I’ve won a couple so my record (against them is) not too bad.”

Pochettino’s lack of faith in the squad he inherited upon his appointment in 2014 meant there was minimal rotation to his team over the course of last season, but after significantly strengthening over the summer the manager now has plenty of options.

Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld represent Spurs’ first-choice central defence, with Federico Fazio and Kevin Wimmer also vying for selection.

Pochettino could decide to rotate against Arsenal, as he did for the midweek Europa League win over Qarabag, and Vertonghen would not kick up a fuss if he was given another rest.

He added: “I want to play every game because I like to play football (but) sometimes it’s better for me to rest. I think it’s good that the medical staff and technical staff make that decision for you.

“You can still be fresh in March or April that way.”

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