Derby games aren’t anything new to Gabriel Jesus. All the same, it’s good to hear that his Arsenal teammates have been ramming home the importance of winning tomorrow’s north London derby.
While others have spent a couple of weeks distracted by international duty, our summer signing has been training at London Colney where all anyone can talk about is getting one over our neighbours.
“All the players are talking about the derby,” Jesus told ESPN. “It’s all about the derby. ‘You’re going to see what a derby is. Derby, derby…'”
I’ve had some experience of derbies, like when I played for Palmeiras, [Manchester] City and Brazil.
“I know what a derby is, but I never played one Arsenal versus Tottenham here. So, it will be my first and I hopefully to get the win, not only in my first but all the derbies that I will play.”
While Arsenal come into the game sitting top of the table, Sp*rs remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season and are hot on our heels just one point behind.
Antonio Conte’s squad are also on a run of eight games unbeaten away from home in the league, stretching back to March.
If that makes you nervous, it’s worth remembering that we’re on a six-game winning streak at the Emirates; our best home run since Unai Emery’s first season in charge.
On a personal level, Jesus has something to prove against Sp*rs having only scored once against them in nine appearances.
Now that he’s getting more of the ball, maybe that will change.
“It is different here at Arsenal,” he said. “The football is different — different players, different ways to play.
“At City, it was different. The striker didn’t touch the ball that much, you see this by watching the games. And, when it was time to touch the ball, it was not the striker, because [Guardiola] ended up putting a midfielder to come closer. OK, fine. So, I decided to change.
He added: “I talked a lot with Arteta about Arsenal’s style. He knows me, I know him, I understood what he wanted from me. Now, I’m free on the pitch, playing football with a smile on my face and trying to do my best all the time.”