Poyet knows the difficulty of conjuring a Paris repeat

  • @NickSzczepanik

Since helping Real Zaragoza win the 1995 Cup-Winners' Cup final in Paris, when Nayim famously scored from the halfway line, Gustavo Poyet has not enjoyed many victories against Arsenal, playing with Chelsea or Tottenham. And he knows it will be hard to improve that record when his Brighton team host Arsène Wenger's men at the Amex Stadium tomorrow.

"The only very good game I have played against Arsenal is the one in Paris, with the Nayim goal," he said. "They should put something behind that goal in the Parc des Princes so they can remember it, as it won't be repeated. But in England I always had problems with Arsenal.

"When they were winning the league with Patrick Vieira and company. That was a difficult team to play against… they were winners."

But the 2013 vintage offers Poyet a glint of hope. "Everyone wants to play Champions League football. The problem is, where is the balance? When we have the ball, what are they going to do? Are they going to run about to get it back or sit and let you have it? So there is a game to play. But when we are without the ball you know what they are going to do, so we need to defend very well."

Brighton's passing game and plush new stadium, however, will not present Arsenal with the tough conditions that enabled Bradford City to beat them in the Capital One Cup.

"If we want to be Bradford for one day it's going to be difficult," said Poyet. "We need to be ourselves."

Given their similar footballing beliefs, it is not surprising Poyet hopes to pick Wenger's brains afterwards.

"We are not friends, I don't have his number, but we've had quite a good relationship so I'll to see if I can use a bit more of his time this time and learn a little bit more." And he would like to emulate Wenger's longevity as well as his values. "If it's a possibility, I'll be delighted, because that means we're doing well."