Jack Wilshere has revealed that he and his Arsenal team-mates were keeping a close eye on Tottenham's game against Southampton on Sunday despite having to prepare for their own tie at Manchester City.
While the Gunners fans are still reeling from their team's inability to win the Premier League title ahead of Leicester City, the opportunity to surpass Tottenham on the final day of the season is one few can fail to get excited about.
Mauricio Pochettino's side could have sealed second place with a win over the Saints on Sunday but were obviously feeling the effects of their own failed title bid.
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Son Heung-min had given Spurs a welcome lead in the 16th minute but a Steven Davis brace gifted Southampton an impressive 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. Needless to say, the Arsenal players were pretty happy when they heard about the result.
Wilshere told the Evening Standard: “I saw about 10 minutes of the first half and when I turned it off it was 1-1. Obviously, then you are checking your phone in the dressing room. When we saw it finished 2-1, it gave us a real lift."
Lay of the land
On the same Sunday afternoon, the English midfielder would go on to help his Gunners side secure a 2-2 draw away against Manchester City, keeping them in third place and within two points of Tottenham going into the final day.
“We want to finish above them and show we are the best team in north London"
Arsenal face a relatively easy game against the already relegated Aston Villa while Tottenham must travel to Newcastle, who will be giving everything to try and escape the drop. Should Arsenal win and Tottenham lose, the two north London clubs will swap places on the final day, and not for the first time.
Wilshere continued: “We want to finish above them and show we are the best team in north London. We expect to win our home games so hopefully Newcastle can do us a favour."
Big club mentality
The obsession with finishing above Arsenal has plagued the minds of Tottenham fans for over 20 years. At no point in Arsene Wenger's reign has white finished ahead of red in the Premier League.
"We need to change that mentality, to be strong and this is what we need to change to be a big, big, big club"
Should they fail to do it this year, a number of Tottenham fans and players alike will be despondent, but, following the game against Southampton, Pochettino called on the White Hart Lane faithful to stop thinking like a small club.
"We need to start to think like a big club, not worrying about what's happening in another house. We still need to learn a lot of things - we need to keep improving into next season," Pochettino said.
"We need to change that mentality, to be strong and this is what we need to change to be a big, big, big club."
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