07
Feb
09

10 years, and counting?

For the past ten years, North London football has had a shadow cast over it by one man and four syllables: Ar-sene Wen-ger.

As their closest neighbors and traditional rivals it’s no wonder that more than any other club Tottenham have measured their team against Arsenal and their managers against Arsene Wenger. But if Arsenal remain unbeaten again tomorrow, they will equalize their longest single-team unbeaten run of 19 league matches (previously held against Chelsea and Villa). Given that dominance and that we are their yard stick, you can easily see why Tottenham have had five different managers in that time and spent almost £50m thrashing around in the transfer pool this season trying to rebuild the team that saw them reach their zenith: 5th place.

Much has been made of this dominance in the press today but no matter how much I’d love to see Thierry Henry equalize in the last minute or Bergkamp slot in off Ian Wright, or any of the great goals that Arsenal have gotten in the past, those times are over. Those teams have been blown up, the medals are hung, and both clubs go to battle on Sunday looking a shell of their former selves.

You’ll pardon me if I hear Arsene Wenger’s words about dominance and see them for what they are: a vain attempt to play mind games. The only things that count as far as Spuds are concerned is the 4-4 draw at Emirates in October and the re-signing of Robbie Keane in February. Everything else will have been a blur in the preparations for this game. They will be sipping tea from their 5-1 commemorative mugs, and slapping backs reminiscing over the 4-4 draw and how they were there the day they “beat” Arsenal.

Keane will be there too, regaling the team with his Liverpool goal against us, describing each moment in exacting technicolor detail. It was probably the highlight of his life; scoring a goal against your old rivals for your new “dream” team. The bitter taste of failure he felt every day at Liverpool certainly was assuaged by that goal and so he’ll surely be desperate to re-live that moment.

Arsenal, for their part, have not met fan expectations and (as I sit here watching Villa with a 1-0 lead over Blackburn) look set to be fully 8 points adrift of the team that should never be considered a rival. Crucial injuries have added injury to injury and despite some folks’ hope that Cesc and Rosicky might make an early return, Eduardo’s prolonged recovery after similar predictions should indicate that this team has a lot more limping along to do if they are going to finish this season with their Champions League spot intact. If Arsene’s surprise admission that he’s considering including Arshavin, who hasn’t trained a single game with Arsenal and hasn’t played competitive football in 2 months, is any indication Wenger is acutely aware of the danger and desperate to keep them in the race.

No, Arshavin’s not going to come in and rescue us tomorrow — we’re going to need the likes of van Persie, Sagna, Adebayor, and Nasri to put in a monster 90 minutes. There’s no doubt that Tottenham will be up for the match. Hell, they’re probably already planning the parade, the theme of which will be “How we saved our season and knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League.”

Let’s rain on that parade, shall we?


8 Responses to “10 years, and counting?”


  1. 1 Tin-Tin
    February 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Hell Yea. No better way to say it.

  2. February 7, 2009 at 9:52 am

    We have the resources to win tomorrow it’s just will we show the desire necessary. You already know spurs will be up for it, if we are then our class will over power them.

  3. 3 caribkid
    February 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Two factors to consider here:

    1) Which Arsenal team will show up, the one who beat Manu or the one who lost to Hull?

    2) Which team and formation will Wenger select to represent us tomorrow. The one bereft of midfield creativity with Nasri stuck on the flank, or will Nasri get the opportunity to command from the CM with with a Vela providing creativity and pace on the flank?

    Your guess is as good as mine, so only tomorrow will tell for sure.

  4. 4 barnaby
    February 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    This is always an important match, totts will be up for it and they’re at home, we had best show up for this one and right some wrongs. And yeah, we should be packin an arshavin to give everyone something to think about, whether he plays or not that’s for everyone else to worry about. We must remain in touching distance of the top four.

  5. 5 seaniepoo
    February 8, 2009 at 6:22 am

    I’m sitting in church with the gamecast. It’s not looking old for us with bendtner on in the 40th minute. Hopefully his looks better on tv than in text. I hate bendtner so much.

  6. 6 seaniepoo
    February 8, 2009 at 6:22 am

    haha I mean good not old. I hate itype !

  7. 7 Keith Barham
    February 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    What a steaming pile of a game. I had this highlighted on the calendar for over a month and now I am left waiting for something more than a single ground-out point. I do feel Eboue had a goal taken away, although his stupidity later on cancels out any sympathy I had for him.

  8. 8 Tim
    February 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Eboue was man of the match…


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