This North London derby could get kinda ‘arry

I’ve said it before, as a relatively new supporter (just 10 years) I have to admit that I see Chelsea as more of a rival than Tottenham. Sure, there was the lasagna season and that was a bit of a close call as far as Tottenham pushing us for a rivalry but really, with Chelsea the competition has been going strong now for 8 years solid.

Even still, the North London derby is always a great match and has produced so many iconic moments — Theirry Henry’s goal at the lane, Adebayor’s goal of the season last year, the DVD inspiring 5-1 loss in the Carling Cup — and I have a feeling that this match will turn out no different. Especially with Pompey old boss Redknapp recently taking over.

Frankly I was hoping that Juande Ramos would cling to the rim of the flushing toilet that was Spurs season long enough to stay in charge of the team for this clash but unfortunately he was replaced.  Of course, immediately Spurs are hailing the new boss as the difference maker with Pavlyuchenko saying that

During today’s [Monday] training session, everybody was smiling at last – recently, players had looked rather sulky. I hope after the victory we should have a breakthrough.

It’s a little early to be claiming a breakthrough but still all of their hope is certainly a worry. It’s such an abundance of hope that their supporters are already talking about “top four” status again. Sure, focus on getting out of relegation this year, but then top four here they come!

But that’s the life of a Spurs supporter I guess: irrational exuberance. I only know two and they seem like decent enough guys but the guy that Arsenal.com found to put together comments ahead of the match is completely nuts.

Arsenal didn’t play particularly well at West Ham but Spurs did play well against Bolton so you never know what will happen.

Yes, that 2-0 win for Arsenal wasn’t particularly good… Sorry but, Robin van Persie and the rest of the world disagrees. When asked whether he thinks that ‘arry Redknapp can fire Spurs off the foot of the table, RvP responded with an emphatic:

I don’t know and I honestly don’t care. The game against Spurs is one on its own and it’s a big one, irrespective of where they are in the table. They won their first game on Sunday, which is great for them, but we’ll see what happens on Wednesday. It was a massive win for us against West Ham that proved we have the resilience to challenge for the league.

I love it. See, Arsenal players know that every game counts toward winning the league and that’s what this team is trying to do this year. RvP rightly dismisses all the psychoanalysis and reminds everyone that Arsenal mean business.

Yes, it’s a big match. Yes, their opponents are buyoued by the appointment of a new manager and a lucky win over an inconsistent squad like Bolton. But this is a north london derby and Arsenal would be up for the challenge whether Tottenham were at the top of the table rather than the foot. Simple as that.

As for squad selection, God himself couldn’t tell you who ‘arry Redknapp will choose other than to say that Gareth Bale and Michael Dawson won’t be available due to their indiscipline against Hull. Arsene, meanwhile has basically a full squad (Rosicky and Eduardo don’t count!) at his disposal and I suspect that we will see Sagna return to the starting lineup. Other than Sagna, again, God himself couldn’t tell you for sure who Arsene will play. I think the team we fielded against West Ham would do nicely against Spuds but Wenger’s been kinda erratic with lineups this season owing to the 18 headed hydra that is occupying Flamini’s vacated spot, so I won’t be so bold as to predict who will get the start at midfield.

No… wait… I see through the hazy mist of the Dragon’s breath that Arsene will play a 4-5-1 with both Diaby and Song partnering Cesc in the center of the park, Nasri out left, Theo out right, Adebayor up front and a back four of Sagna, Silvestre, Gallas, and Clichy.

See, like a Spurs fan I too can make shit up.

Anyway, the match is a late kickoff over in England and so it’s being carried here in the afternoon. Doyle’s is going to record the match for us and a bunch of us are going down there to watch the replay of the game at 3pm local time. Stop by if you want to cheer on the boys but don’t tell us the score!

P.S. Tony Adams has been named coach of Pompey, which nearly completes Pompey’s transformation into Arsenal South. Good for him, may Pompey finish just behind Arsenal in all competitions.


3 Responses to “This North London derby could get kinda ‘arry”

  1. 1 Keith Barham
    October 28, 2008 at 8:34 am

    This match and the one against Stoke are live on Setanta Extra for those who have this channel. I guess it is live even if you do not have the channel, although that is not as useful.

    Ljungberg is getting a fortune to go to Seattle. Sky is saying about $24M for two years. That’s just stupid money.

  2. 2 Keith Barham
    October 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    OK, BBC says Ljungberg is getting $5M per year. Still… that’s a massive amount at this stage of his career.

  3. 3 Matt
    October 28, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Probably $5M/year in salary with the remaining $14M in endorsements…etc. Kinda like what Beckham is getting down in LA.

    It’s the MLS’s way of getting around its own salary cap.

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