Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has cranked up the pressure ahead of Sunday's North London derby by insisting that Arsenal still remain the dominant force in North London.
Arsenal's record over Tottenham Hotspur during the Arsene Wenger remains imperious. Despite struggling for lengthy periods of the last two Premier League season Arsenal have shown their quality by finishing both seasons in a flourish with top four berths and inevitably finishing above their North London counterparts, when they so easily could have succumbed to a place in Europe's lesser competition.
Many believe that the tides are now turning however with Tottenham having a very pro-active transfer window which has resulted in excess of £60M spent on former Valencia and Spanish hotshot Roberto Soldado, Brazilian international Paulinho, Belgian winger Nacer Chadli and once Arsenal target Ettiene Capoue. Star man Gareth Bale might be on the verge of a move to Real Madrid, but Roma prodigy Erik Lamela looks an imminent signing for Spurs and Andros Townsend continues to impress.
In comparison it has been a very bleak and in-active transfer window to date for Arsenal. With France U21 international Yaya Sanogo the sole acquisition to date on a free transfer and deals for Luis Suarez, Luis Gustavo and Gonzalo Higuain failed to come to fruition. While Wenger also seems consigned to little activity in the last few days of the transfer window.
However, Arsenal's transfer activity - or lack of it - is not something that phases England international Theo Walcott with the player not only confident they remain the stronger side than Arsenal, but having an ardent belief that Arsenal still possess a very capable squad.
When quizzed whether Spurs have overtaken Arsenal, Walcott sharply replied: "Not at all. I feel we're very, very strong.
While also adding "Everyone makes out our squad is very weak and there are not many of us but I think we showed in the last few games that we bounced back from a bad result in the first match [a 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa] and proved a lot of people wrong.
"Every club are different and they invested their money very well. For us players we just want to do a job on Sunday, we don't care if they have brought in £30m stars.
"They have some very good players and a very good manager but we need to make sure we focus on ourselves. The way we're playing at the moment we believe we can beat anyone.
"It's a massive game and I always enjoy them. The fans make it very special. It's very early in the season considering there is an England game coming up but us players love it and it's a fixture I always look at straight away.
"Tottenham are playing very good stuff at the moment but we are looking very sharp so for the neutral it's going to be a pretty impressive spectacle."
One thing is a certainty. There is a very fine line between Arsenal and Tottenham with both arguably be equal to the other, but Arsenal garner the utmost respect from their previous achievements and shouldn't be written off so easily.
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