Arsenal must show derby emotion against Spurs says Gunners boss Unai Emery
ARSENAL head coach Unai Emery insists football needs passion as he urged his players to show emotion in Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final meeting with rivals Tottenham.
The Gunners sealed a 4-2 victory over their north London neighbours in the Premier League fixture on December 2 in a match that had several flashpoints.
Eric Dier equalised for the visitors at the Emirates Stadium before his finger-to-lips celebration sparked a fracas between the two sets of players. There were also several arrests made amongst the supporters with a Tottenham fan handed a four-year football ban and a £500 fine for throwing a banana skin towards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he celebrated his opening goal in front of the away fans.
Despite those incidents, Emery wants emotions to be running high when the two sides meet again so soon after his first taste of the north London derby.
“I said to you that I think showing emotion is very important,” he said.
“I think football is emotion. In a derby, maybe this emotion is greater. When you win it's amazing, when you lose it's horrible. Respect is very important.
“We can show this emotion with respect when we are playing but also when they scored against us, they can show their emotion with their supporters.
“But with respect. We need to show this emotion when we are playing, when we are winning, because I think football needs this passion.”
Arsenal take on Spurs having seen their 22-match unbeaten run come to an end away to Southampton on Sunday.
Emery, who was without a host of defensive options on the south coast and still has a number of selection headaches ahead of Wednesday night, believes losing such a long streak will motivate his players to improve heading into Christmas.
“Sunday for us is a big reality check in our way,” he added.
“We need to improve and also we need to continue doing our way in our process.
“It's not a good result but this reality gives us more motivation to continue to work hard, finding a new think to work on each day, and also it makes us demand a lot from ourselves in the way we work on this way.”
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino insists he is focused only on his job at Tottenham amid speculation linking him to the vacant managerial position at Manchester United.
Pochettino declined the opportunity to categorically rule himself out of moving to Old Trafford, instead saying he was focused only on Spurs, who have the small matter of a north London derby against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
“First of all I want to send my best wishes to him (Mourinho) and I feel so sorry because you know very well I have a very good relationship him,” he said.
“He's a very good friend and always it's sad news, what happened today. Then it's not my business, what happened at another club. I only want to send my best wishes to Jose.”
He added: “We know a lot of rumours happen. But it's not my business what happens in another club now.”
“I'm so focused on delivering my best job, our best job, in this club and now we have ahead a very busy period and tomorrow we play another derby, such an important derby for us.
“It's the quarter-final of the cup. I think you and all the people understand we're focused on trying to deliver our best job tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Tottenham have activated an option to extend Jan Vertonghen's contract until 2020.
The Belgium defender, who is currently sidelined until January with a thigh injury, was due to see his deal expire in the summer.
But Spurs have moved to tie him down for an additional year and are believed to be keen to agree a new long-term deal.