Tottenham assistant boss Steffen Freund believes the club are closing on Arsenal
Steffen Freund believes Tottenham are close to bringing Arsenal's 18-year domination of North London to an end.
Last Updated: 13/11/12 8:57pm
Spurs head to Arsenal on Saturday looking to extend the one-point gap that currently separates the two rivals, who sit in seventh and eighth in the Premier League respectively.
Freund in particular does not need reminding that the white half of North London has remained the unhappier section of the bitter divide since the 1994-95 season when Gerry Francis was in charge.
During the German's playing career at White Hart Lane, Arsenal finished in the top two every season and Spurs could do no better than ninth.
But Freund, who returned to White Hart Lane this summer to take on the role of assistant boss to Andre Villas-Boas, thinks things have improved drastically for Spurs since his playing days there.
"Spurs are really close to Arsenal," said Freund, who played for Tottenham from 1998 to 2003.
"We are definitely in a better position.
"In my time they used to be involved in the title race every year and we finished ninth or 10th.
"That has changed now. We are really close to our biggest rival."
This is arguably the first season in a while that neither team can consider themselves genuine title challengers.
That does not seem to have quashed Freund's passion surrounding Saturday's meeting at the Emirates Stadium, and the overall rivalry between the two sides though.
"It would be great to finish above Arsenal," said Freund, who played 120 times for Tottenham. "It would be a great experience for me too because it has never happened for me in the past.
"I can't wait for that game. It's a special game.
"There are only two of these games every season."
Despite his desire to get one over on Tottenham's neighbours on Saturday, Freund does not subscribe to the theory that Arsene Wenger's star is fading.
The Gunners have endured another miserable start to the season, but Freund still admires the Arsenal boss.
"He is doing a fantastic job," said the German.
"Arsenal have played Champions League every year and that is a lot of money for the club. That makes it a lot easier for them to buy players."