Diaby on Facing Tottenham

Arsenal’s midfielder, Abou Diaby, has been looking ahead to the North London Derby on Sunday. The 26-year-old is feeling confident on the back of 5-2 wins in the last two encounters. However Arsenal lost the last time they traveled to White Hart Lane.

Wenger has since stated Diaby is a doubt, with only a 50/50 chance to play after picking up a knock against Aston Villa. He will have a late fitness test.

The Frenchman gave this interview to Arsenal.com earlier on, with a full Q&A below:

Q: How much do you look forward to these big games?
A: “Oh yeah, we all look forward to this big game. It’s not only important to us, but for the club, for the fans, it’s more than a game. So we look forward to this game and hopefully we win this game.”

Q: There have been 39 goals in the last 8 games between Arsenal and Tottenham. What is that brings such entertainment?
A: “Yeah, I mean is the atmosphere around this game I think. We all want to win and we just come in this game and playing and we want to win. Both teams want to win so it makes the game really exciting, so that’s I think why there’s so many goals.”

Q: How difficult is it to play away from home against your biggest rival?
A: “It is obviously difficult because they are playing in their ground, they have the crowd with them, supporting them. So you can see their exertion is more than usual. It is a bit difficult, but we need to deal with that and put ourselves in their level if you like.”

Q: Will the 5-2 wins in February and November give Arsenal a psychological edge?
A: “Yeah, of course, of course. From the last game against them we also take some lessons from that and we know them well, so we know how to deal with them.”

Q: How different a side do you Tottenham have become under AVB?
A: “I think first of all they have a new manager, they bring new players, so I think the manager came with a new type of play, and a new philosophy and that’s helped them a lot, and they bring some really, really good players as well so yeah, I think all those elements make them really good at the moment.”

Q: Many believe these big games are won or lost in midfield. What are your thoughts on that?
A: “Yeah, I think it’s true. If you have a strong midfield, I think you at 90% you know, you win the game. Cause the midfield is the heart of the team.”

Q: What do you make of Moussa Dembele?
A: “Ah, he’s very good. We play against him when we play in Belgium. He was quite impressive. But since he joined Fulham and then Tottenham, he showed a very, very good quality. He’s a very good player.”

Q: How big of a statement would it be to win at Tottenham, in this top-four race?
A: “It will be really important because if we win there, if we still at the same point, with the gap between us the same, it will be a really, really important game, because we will get closer to them or even take advantage. So it’s really, really important to win there.”