Arsene Wenger: Spurs must overcome ‘the fear’ to claim silverware

Arsene Wenger has told Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino that his side must overcome “the fear” of not winning a trophy if they are to earn silverware in the future.

Spurs have improved markedly since the arrival of Pochettino in 2014 and finished second in the Premier League last season.

They also ended the campaign above Arsenal for the first time in Wenger’s 21-year reign — although the Gunners did win the FA Cup for a record 13th time.

Despite earning plenty of admirers for their style, Spurs have not been able to win a trophy since lifting the League Cup in 2008.

Pochettino has yet to come under pressure to start delivering silverware but, ahead of tomorrow’s north London derby at the Emirates Stadium (kick-off 12.30pm), Wenger has offered words of advice to the Argentinian.

Asked how he got over the line to deliver his first trophy as a manager, Wenger replied: “By keeping your nerves and getting the players to focus on what is important.

“At some stages, by fighting a little bit against your inhibitions — the fear that you won’t get over the line. Basically you need to focus on what is important and not focus on the trophy too much.”

Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld is expected to be out until after Christmas with a hamstring injury, Pochettino has said.

Alderweireld has not played for Spurs since pulling up against Real Madrid on November 1. He will now miss the derby and is likely also to sit out games against Borussia Dortmund, Apoel Nicosia, and Manchester City.

“We expect longer than we previously (thought) when the problem happened,” Pochettino said. “Maybe after Christmas, maybe.”

On the plus side, Spurs are hoping to have a handful of key players back for the trip to the Emirates, with Harry Kane (knee), Dele Alli (hamstring) and Harry Winks (ankle) all pulling out of the England squad last week.

Hugo Lloris also missed Spurs’ win over Crystal Palace before the international break with a groin strain.

“We are optimistic but we need to wait and analyse every single case,” Pochettino said.


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