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Gunners’ Cech: ‘Spurs need a trophy to match us’

Arsenal goalkeeper takes shot at rivals ahead of north London derby clash at the Emirates

16 November, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Petr Cech: ‘Our target is to win the title and be successful during the season, not necessarily looking at what Tottenham are doing’

PETR Cech has hit back at suggestions of a north London power shift, saying that rivals Tottenham must “win a trophy” before matching Arsenal’s success.

Spurs go into Saturday’s derby at the Emirates Stadium boasting a four-point advantage over the Gunners.

They also finished ahead of their rivals for the first time in 22 years last season when they claimed second spot in the Premier League.

Arsenal, however, lifted their third FA Cup in four years with victory over champions Chelsea at Wembley in May.

Cech insists that Spurs need to score some silverware of their own before they can claim to have moved ahead of their north London neighbours.

Asked if there had been a power shift, Cech said: “No I don’t think so. There is always one odd year where things can change, but the most important thing for us is competing against the other teams for the Premier League title and for the glory. We are not competing against Tottenham Hotspur.

“Two years ago when we finished above them we were disappointed because we didn’t win the title. Our target is to win the title and be successful during the season, not necessarily looking at what Tottenham are doing.

“They’ve been there in the last few years so now I think they have to make sure they win something to show the progression,” Cech added.

“Success is ultimately winning trophies. We were under pressure the last couple of years, with people talking about winning trophies.

“Obviously we are disappointed not to have won the title but we won FA cups. Although the season was not always what we wanted, we always had a trophy at the end of it.”

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be able to choose a starting XI from a full deck against Arsenal after players on international duty returned unscathed and those who withdrew from their country’s squads resumed training.

It means the manager, who has not lost a league game against Arsene Wenger in his three years at the helm, will have to decide whether to give youngster Harry Winks a starting place in place of the more experienced Mousa Dembele and whether Danny Rose has done enough to push Ben Davies out of the side. There could also be a shock return to the first team squad for long- term absentee Erik Lamela

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