Tottenham striker Louis Saha issues warning to Arsenal
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Louis Saha has warned Arsenal that Tottenham are capable of going a run which he thinks could end with his team pipping their north London rivals to third in the Barclays Premier League.
Tottenham set up an FA Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea last night when they beat Bolton 3-1 on an emotional night at White Hart Lane.
It was just their second victory in eight games and the Londoners are currently in the midst of a five-match winless streak in the league which has seen Arsenal overtake them in the race for third.
Last month Spurs looked poised to move 13 points ahead of Arsenal, but a second-half comeback by the Gunners in the north London derby proved to be the spark for a seven-match winning run that has helped Arsene Wenger's men reclaim their position as the capital's top team.
Saha, encouraged by last night's win and Saturday's goalless draw at Chelsea, has told Wenger's squad to put their celebrations on ice, however, and claims Tottenham can repeat their neighbours' form and edge the battle for third.
"It is football, with lots of paradox and things can quickly change," said Saha, who scored Tottenham's final goal in injury-time last night.
"Arsenal have had a run so they are confident. They are in the front seat, they are in a good position but it doesn't mean we cannot do the same.
"We have shown consistency during the season. We may have dropped a few points during the past weeks but we have shown that we have closed the gap in terms of our performances."
Harry Redknapp's team seemed on the brink of challenging for the title this year after going on an 11-match unbeaten run at the end of 2011.
Critics have claimed inexperience of being at such a lofty height is the reason why the Londoners have plummeted to fourth recently, but Saha disagree.
"We definitely have players with experience like Emmanuel Adebayor, William Gallas and Rafael van der Vaart, who has won lots of things, so I think that experience is on our side," he said.
Many had questioned Redknapp's decision to sign Saha in the January transfer window but the 33-year-old has silenced his critics by scoring four times in nine appearances - four of which have come off the bench.
The move has also enabled Saha to win a recall to the France squad and he is delighted that swapping Everton for Spurs has paid off.
"It's been brilliant because this is a great club and I like the way we play," Saha added.
"It's just a joy to play in a team like this and obviously scoring goals is something I love."
Thanks largely to a heroic performance from goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, Bolton withstood a prolonged barrage until the 74th minute last night when Ryan Nelsen opened the scoring for Tottenham.
Gareth Bale added a second and then Kevin Davies pulled one back for Bolton before Saha lashed home from 25 yards to seal the win.
The game was an emotional affair for Bolton as it came 10 days after Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest in the original encounter, but Trotters boss Owen Coyle has called on his team to now focus on their relegation six-pointer at Wolves.
"It's an important game on Saturday," said Coyle, whose team have moved out of the drop zone recently after wins against QPR and Blackburn.
"We go into the game following a good run of form and we need to bring it all together against a strong Wolves side.
"Everyone is desperate to play their part for Bolton and that is very pleasing.
"What we have to do now is make sure we get enough points to stay in the league.
"We've got enough quality and desire in the squad to do exactly that."
Spurs, meanwhile, will have Aaron Lennon available for Sunday's game against Swansea.
The winger has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury, but Tweeted last night: "For all asking I will be fit for the weekend."
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