Wenger calls for Arsenal calm ahead of NLD

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has called for calm amongst his players when Arsenal face Tottenham today in the north London derby clash at the Emirates.

The Arsenal manager is acutely aware he needs to avoid losing a player to a red card in an intense Premier League encounter against the Gunners’ rivals.

Laurent Koscielny was sent off in Arsenal’s opening game against Aston Villa and the Frenchman has reminded his charges that they have a responsibility for the duration of the match.

He said: “The game lasts 90 minutes and the behaviour of the players has to be focused and normal for 90 minutes.

“We played against Aston Villa with 10 men, Koscielny didn’t deserve to be sent off and nobody cared about it, nobody asked what would have happened if Koscielny had stayed on. Certainly we would not have lost the game. But that is one of the decisions of the referee.”

Arsenal go into the vital match having drafted in just two players on free transfers while Tottenham have spent around £100million on new recruits. But Wenger says he still has time to purchase players ahead of the transfer window closing tomorrow night.

He added: “Yes I am active. I am confident but I don’t know when things will be done. We will not panic buy that is for sure. You can believe me, it is not in my strengths to panic.”

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has used the incoming £90million fee for Gareth Bale from Real Madrid to fund his additions but Wenger says he chooses to concentrate on his own club.

He said: “I must confess I am not too much worried about their risk and what they do.  I believe you win games when you focus on yourself and the quality of our game.

“The only thing that counts in football – I can understand that it is very interesting for people to read the newspapers and see who goes in and out – but there is only one thing that if you really love football, is what happens on the pitch.

“When you see our team play, I think that is the most important – what happens on the pitch. We have a way to play, we have good players and let’s focus on that.”