May 26 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has told fans not to enjoy Arsenal’s recent troubles too much as the Gunners’ FA Cup and Champions League disappointments could make them even more determined to finish fourth.
Arsenal’s long wait for a trophy now looks set to stretch to eight years following Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, while Tottenham have enjoyed far better form and are unbeaten in the league since December.
With both sides vying for fourth place in the Premier League, however, the Portuguese had a warning for any Spurs fans revelling in their rivals’ disappointment.
“It doesn’t help [Spurs] because Arsenal will put even more focus on their Premier League run and getting results right,” the former Porto boss said.
“In an ideal world to have Arsenal continue in that competition and getting tired playing in the Champions League would be better for us in terms of reaching our objective.”
That objective is to get Spurs back in to the Champions League, of course.
That does not mean the north London club will shy away in their attempts to win the Europa League, however. Villas-Boas lifted the trophy in 2011 with Porto before embarking on an ill-fated stint at Chelsea which lasted 256 days.
He now wants to win the trophy again to help ease the pain of his short-lived reign at Stamford Bridge.
“After the disappointments I went through last year it would be great to grab the chance of a European trophy,” he said.
“We won the Europa League with Porto. Both are top clubs.”
Gareth Bale’s two stunning free-kicks in last week’s 2-1 win against Ligue 1’s second-placed side mean a 0-0 draw tomorrow at the Stade de Gerland will see Spurs through to the last 16, where they are likely to meet Inter Milan.
The Spurs boss confirmed today that, as was the case in the first leg, Brad Friedel will start in goal ahead of former Lyon captain Hugo Lloris.
“We’ve decided to keep this rotation policy,” Villas-Boas said.