Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur face off at the Emirates stadium on Sunday afternoon in the first north London derby of the season – Stan Collymore has had his say on both sides
He will need a proactive approach at home, which will see Spurs press and take the game to their visitors.
And then away from north London, particularly in the bigger games, they will need to learn to counter attack like Nuno’s Wolves team did, and make use of the pace they have at their disposal.
If they can do that, then I’d be confident he can get them back into the Champions League in the next two-to-five years. It’s not a given, but with the right investment in players he is capable of doing it.
He is a coach who wants to play out from the back and through the lines – but without players who are capable of doing it against the better sides.
Even sometimes against teams who aren’t so good. He isn’t a manager whose formula and way of playing is conducive to attracting anything other than B-list players and, without Champions League football, the club can’t even attract them.
As a result, things just aren’t going to change while he is there.
Which means that, when he does go, Arsenal will face their most important decision since the appointment of Arsene Wenger back in 1996.
Unless they bring in an A-lister such as Diego Simeone or Antonio Conte, then they are going to stay stuck in their current rut.
A little bit like Liverpool did when they bought me from Nottingham Forest. The Gunners should be looking at Youri Tielemans of Leicester or Declan Rice of West Ham and trying to get them in. But if you’re either of those two, would you leave the club you’re at to give Arsenal the injection of discipline, quality and character they need?
No, you absolutely would not.
Tottenham are in a better position to attract players as things stand, but the problem is the perception of whether their chairman Daniel Levy would spend in the way you would want him to.
Who are in a better position as a club – Arsenal or Spurs? Comment below.
I’d be thinking, ‘Yes, I fancy that stadium and that training ground, but is he going to bring in three, four or five like me, the same way Chelsea did a couple of years ago when they were at the Champions League/Europa League crossroads where Spurs now find themselves?’.
I’m not so sure Levy would – and that would put me off.
It is such a shame to see both clubs in the positions they are, because we should be looking ahead to this afternoon’s north London derby with a lot of excitement. Instead, several other fixtures, such as Chelsea v Manchester City and Brentford v Liverpool, looked more appetising than today’s clash at the Emirates.
Arsenal-Spurs would traditionally have been one of the bigger Premier League games of the season, but today it’s not going to affect anything other than local bragging rights and the chance to offer a little bit of confidence to their strikers.
These clubs have Champions League facilities. But right now both clubs have Europa Conference League teams.