Ange Postecoglou says he will judge Tottenham’s progress under his leadership by how they perform at Arsenal rather than the final score.
Spurs have had a brilliant start to the season under the Australian and are full of confidence after last weekend’s thrilling win over Sheffield United, which puts them level with Liverpool and Arsenal in second place in the Premier League.
Tottenham have not tasted victory in the league at the Emirates since 2010 and although Postecoglou recognises the importance of the derby, his main criterion for success will be if his team can execute his attacking philosophy in a hostile environment.
Postecoglou said: “The fans, regardless of your previous record, always want to win the next derby and that never changes.
“For us, it’s a great opportunity as a football team that’s starting on a journey and trying to have an identity on how we play.
“There’s no bigger challenge than playing one of the top teams in the league away from home, who also happen to be your biggest rival.
“It’s a great test for us, a great challenge for us. We have to go out there and see how we cope with all of that.
“We’re only five games in. I understand that for many people, they will see this as our first real test and I get that. It is pretty easy, you could write two stories now: if we win, great we’re on the right track. If we lose, we’ve still got a long way to go.
“For me, what is going to be more important is how much of our football I see in a big game like this. How much of us can I see against a top opponent?
“That will give me the biggest indicator of where we’re at, but either way, irrespective of the outcome, I’d say the performance will be my biggest measure but knowing we have still got a long way to go.”
Postecoglou’s task of rebuilding Tottenham is similar to what Mikel Arteta has done at Arsenal over the last four years.
There have been many changes on and off the field since Postecoglou took over at Spurs in June and this week saw Scott Munn start his role as chief football officer.
Chief scout Leonardo Gabbanini has also left the club, with Tottenham set to appoint a new technical director to oversee transfers following Fabio Paratici’s departure as director of football in April.