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Monday, October 17, 2005


Here's shocking news from The Mirror.

JERMAINE JENAS rubbed salt into Arsenal's wounds by claiming that Tottenham are ready to take over from their bitter rivals as the dominant force in north London.

Jenas got his Spurs career off the ground by setting up Egypt striker Mido's opener and then scoring a second to keep Everton rooted to the bottom as they equalled a club-record sixth straight league defeat.

The win saw Tottenham move five points clear of Arsenal and gives them genuine hope of winning their first derby in 14 attempts (the last was in November 1999) when they meet at White Hart Lane on Saturday week.

Tottenham midfielder Jenas, 22, firmly believes they are ready to mount a serious push for a Champions League place, and insists they are finally ready to step out of Arsenal's shadow.

Jenas, one of Tottenham's big summer signings in a £7million switch from Newcastle, said: "It's been a while since Spurs have been the dominant north London side.

"We've got a couple of big games coming up, at Manchester United next week and then Arsenal the week after, and hopefully wecan show some character and get the right results. "Everyone is talking about the north London derby. When I was up north I managed to win all of the derbies that I I played in for Newcastle.

"I know the feeling and I know it means just as much to the Tottenham supporters so it'll be a great day."

With Tottenham now second, England international Jenas believes a Champions League spot is well within their reach.

"We've got a great young team and we're very ambitious - hopefully we can get ourselves into Europe," he said.

Tottenham boss Martin Jol has been trying to play down his team's chances this season but after watching them climb into second place even he let his guard slip.

Jol believes Arsenal are no better than Tottenham without injured striker Thierry Henry and departed captain Patrick Vieira - and reckons he has found his own future superstar in 18-year-old winger Aaron Lennon.

Dutchman Jol said: "I think once you take Henry and Vieira out of their team, they are no better than us.

"It's about good players. When Thierry Henry gets to 35 and can't play any more then they will have to find similar players - but maybe we can find them first. Arsenal haven't always been better than Spurs. And we can be better than them again.

"We have found an exciting player in Lennon and he will be a big player. We can still improve our team, particularly on the left flank. If only we had a Ginola.

"But Lennon is 18 and is already one of the revelations in England. He is one of the few players in England who can beat players, he's like Shaun Wright-Phillips in that respect.

"It's going to be a difficult season for a few teams - like Arsenal without Henry, Newcastle and even Manchester United. So, during this sort of period, maybe we can do an Everton and get into the Champions League." Spurs found it hard to break down Everton's stubborn resistance until defender Joseph Yobo's kamikaze cross-field pass allowed Jenas to provide the cross for Mido to head home a 57th-minute opener.

Jenas then did himself a power of good by heading home a second six minutes later to win over the fans who had not been convinced by a player clearly lacking in form and confidence.

Jenas believes the goal will signal an upturn in his fortunes for Spurs - and help him secure a place in England's World Cup squad.

Jenas added: "That was massive for my confidence. When you move to a new club and a new area, it's difficult to settle in sometimes but that goal was a big relief. I think I got better in the second half and I think the fans saw a bit more of me. I know what I expect of myself and hopefully this is a big step for me on the way to impressing them."

Everton boss David Moyes urged his players not to forget last year's incredible run which saw them get into the Champions League.

Moyes said: "We remain confident and positive. It's only a couple of months ago that these players were getting applauded for what they had achieved in finishing fourth.

"They must remember that but they must also move on and realise we need to show strength to get out of the position we are in."



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