By News Team
Last Updated: 12th March 2021
Louis Saha believes there’s a north London power shift moving in Spurs’ favour ahead of the north London derby this weekend.
The Frenchman is a derby day expert, having been the only player to play in the Manchester, Tyne-Wear, north London, west London and Merseyside derbies. And Saha believes Spurs have the edge over the Gunners as the two sides get set to face off at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
He said: “The north London derby was special. Just like the other derbies I played in, it was symbolised by the players who were there and who understood it. It was very physical and intense. Most of the team were quick and fit.
“It was tense during the week, as everyone knew it was a special day. Of course, you remember those moments and you feel both teams are competing for the same thing with the same desire.
“We were doing really well in the build-up and we knew we had to try and represent the club in the best way, but it wasn’t a great result. We lost 5-2.”
But Saha isn’t expecting a similar result this weekend and believes another Spurs victory to add to the one earlier this season will prove further evidence that there’s a power shift taking place in north London.
He said: “Spurs have quality with Gareth Bale, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane, who can cause real damage.
“Arsenal don’t have a great defence, and often make mistakes, but up front they also have players who can cause problems. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a threat too.”
He continued: “In terms of sizes, Arsenal over the years have had bigger honours with the Premier League and FA Cup titles, but Spurs have caught up due to their terrific players and good teams in recent years. There’s been a power change, but they need the trophies to back that up.
“They have the right manager to do that, and they are on the right track. They have three big players in Bale, Son and Kane who can help them.”
He added: “Jose Mourinho is here to bring success and is one of the best around to bring trophies, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he does that for the club.
“They have worked very hard as a club to do all they can to bring success and also a style which supporters can be proud of. It has required a lot of investment, but they are now close to winning things.”
On the subject of Bale, Saha believes that the Real Madrid star will extend his stay at Spurs beyond this summer.
Saha said: “If you look at his pace and the way the ball is played around him, this team is trying to build things around him.
“I’m not sure of the details around his contract and the fee to be paid for him, but I see someone who is enjoying his football now and I see a team who is enjoying his quality.
“He’s still one of the best players when he’s fit, so I hope that continues and he stays with Spurs in the Premier League.”
Saha’s six months at Spurs saw him link up with Bale and he admitted that he’s a much different player now to back then.
He said: “I could see that he was a very motivated guy back then, but he’s not the same player I knew then because he’s since gone on to win massive trophies and be pivotal in the Real Madrid teams and contributing to their success.”
He added: “Now he has the pressure off his shoulders and is now enjoying his football.
“Back then, when I played with him, he was looking to improve and go on to do big things. I played with Luka Modric too, so it was great to then see them both doing well at Madrid.”
Saha believes that the Spurs squad around then were just a few elements away from bringing the Premier League trophy to the club.
He said: “It was obvious we had some great talent, but not enough quality and experience to do that (win the league).