Villas-Boas hails Wenger as 'one of the greats' ahead of north London derby

Tottenham's head coach has heaped praise upon the Frenchman, believing that the Arsenal boss' own success in charge of the club has led to raised expectations
Andre Villas-Boas has insisted that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a "one of the greats", despite failing to win a major trophy in seven years, and beginning the season with the Gunners' worst ever Premier League start.

Fans are becoming impatient with the trophy drought, as well as the frustration of seeing the departure of the likes of Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas in recent years, support for the manager and the board has become fragile over the past few weeks.

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However, Villas-Boas insists that it would not be in the best interests of Arsenal to say goodbye to their 63-year-old boss.

"When you are in one place, you always are willing for a change or are prepared to change to something positive," he told reporters.

"But when change happens, you see what you were missing at first. I certainly feel that he has delivered what Arsenal want for the last years and he continues to be one of the great managers.

"Last year was the same. He has raised the expectations by being a winner in the past and what Arsenal fans expect is seeing trophies and seeing them back where Wenger put them in the past.

"Certainly, he might be paying the price for the expectations that he arose."

Before Villas-Boas' predecessor was relieved of his Tottenham duties, Harry Redknapp closed the gap between Spurs and Arsenal winning three of the eight fixtures between the two teams, in contrast to Arsenal's two wins.

However, Tottenham head to the Emirates for the first time since last season's historic 5-2 defeat, despite being 2-0 up before the close of the first half.

Villas-Boas' side will hope to reverse that result when the two sides meet on Saturday.