Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen reveals half-time team talk against Arsenal

Jan Vertonghen

Tottenham Hotspur staged a 2-1 comeback win against Arsenal in the North London derby at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has revealed to the club’s official website the half-time team talk the players had on Saturday.

Spurs were 1-0 down at the break in the North London derby against Arsenal at White Hart Lane, and launched a stirring comeback in the second period to win the Premier League encounter 2-1.

Despite falling behind 1-0 to a Mesut Ozil goal as early as the 11th minute, Tottenham did not lose heart and stepped up their game after the break.

England Under-21 international striker Harry Kane restored parity in the 56th minute and scored the winner four minutes from full time.

Tottenham have shown this season that they can score late goals to win games, and Belgium international Vertonghen insists that the players knew that that they would be able to pick up all three points against Arsenal once they scored the equaliser.

“We were the better team for 90 minutes and we said at half-time that if we scored we’d 100 per cent go on and win this game,” the 27-year-old told the club’s official website.

“We knew we just had to score that first one and towards the end of the first half we were very on top. I don’t think I’ve seen us have more attempts on goal in a game since I’ve been here.”

Confidence is high in the Tottenham camp, and it is little wonder than the players found it in themselves to defeat their bitter North London rivals Arsenal at home.

In fact, Vertonghen actually believes that it was Spurs who wanted to play football, not Arsenal.

“Our midfield did brilliantly and didn’t give them any space to play,” said the former Ajax star. “We were the one team that tried to play in a positive way.”

Vertonghen is probably going overboard in claiming that Arsene Wenger's side did not want to play in a positive way, but the fact stands that Tottenham overran the Gunners.

As the Opta stats table below shows, Spurs were better than Arsenal in almost all key departments, which proves that Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated the visitors.

  Chances createdBig Chance CreatedTotal ShotsTotal TacklesTotal DribblesTotal PassSuccessful Final Third PassesPossession Percentage
Tottenham 19 0 23 21 19 482 116 56%
Arsenal 5 1 7 20 17 386 79 44%

Tottenham are now fifth in the Premier League table with 43 points from 24 matches, while Arsenal are a point behind them in sixth.

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