Wenger: Tottenham must overcome fear of failure

Arsene Wenger has told Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino that his side must overcome the “fear” of not winning a trophy if they are to earn silverware in the future.

Spurs have improved markedly since the arrival of Pochettino in 2014 and finished second in the Premier League last season.

They also ended the campaign above Arsenal for the first time in Wenger’s 21-year reign – although the Gunners did win the FA Cup for a record 13th time.

Despite earning plenty of admirers for their style and exuberance, Tottenham have not been able to win a trophy since lifting the League Cup in 2008.

Pochettino has yet to come under pressure to start delivering silverware but, ahead of Saturday’s north London derby at the Emirates Stadium, Wenger has offered words of advice to the Argentinian.

Asked how he got over the line to deliver his first trophy as a manager, Wenger replied: “By keeping your nerves and getting the players to focus on what is important.

“At some stages, by fighting a little bit against your inhibitions – the fear that you won’t get over the line. Basically you need to focus on what is important and not focus on the trophy too much.”

Wenger has not overseen victory in a Premier League clash with Tottenham since 2014, although Arsenal have gone unbeaten at home against their neighbours for the last seven years.

The 68-year-old faced stinging criticism and calls to leave the club at the end of last season as, despite winning the FA Cup, they fell off the pace in the league and finished 11 points adrift of Spurs.

But Wenger says he is not concerned by the relative gap to Tottenham, or the suggestion they are now better than his side, and is instead solely concerned on getting Arsenal back both into the title picture and the Champions League.

READ MORE: The TEAMtalk verdict – Arsenal v Tottenham

“I was always more focused on finishing in the Champions League,” he said.

“When we had less resources financially I knew that we needed the money to pay the stadium back, so I was more focused on that than on Tottenham. I was never too focused on Tottenham.

“Today, people always take one situation and it is permanent. The judgement is definite, permanent and forever.

“It is down to us to change the opinions of people with our performances, I cannot say much more. If they have a perception like that they have a perception like that but how can you respond? Not by me talking here, we need to show on Saturday that it’s not true.”