More than anything, with all that’s happened, with our form so desperately poor and with us anchored to the bottom half of the Premier League table, I am looking forward to the North London Derby with feverish expectation and anticipation.
Let me explain why. I haven’t seen a single performance that has encompassed pride and passion. The type the fans bring to a stadium every week to cheer on their team, its noticeable and long overdue. If this team can not raise their game for this encounter, then this season is already over in every respect.
Whilst writing this, I had an idea, an out-of-the-box moment that may well drive this team on to deliver in a crucial game. I’d invite Tony Adams into the changing room to deliver a passionate speech on what it means to play for Arsenal in a North London Derby. How could you not be inspired by Mr Arsenal on the day of a contest that many supporters regard as a must-win situation?
It could just as well be delivered by Henry, Vieira or Bergkamp who know exactly what is at stake and how this fixture is viewed by the fans. A win won’t have any impact on the final placings in the Premier League, it’s more of a pissing contest in North London to establish the bragging rights, even if only temporarily.
The last few seasons have seen the local rivals finish above the Gunners and their fortunes so far this season have been contrasting with both featuring at separate ends of the table. For Arsenal fans, it’s been a miserable but not entirely unexpected start against teams that fought for the Champions League titles last term, but a win against Spurs would certainly improve the mood surrounding the Emirates and be a welcome boost to their confidence.
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In all honesty, apart from their league positions, there isn’t a great deal to separate the sides. Spurs can be just as fallible and prone to gifting games to so-called weaker sides and although they are blessed with Son, Kane and Alli, they are short in other areas. That’s something which has been proved over and over at the level against superior opposition.
I’d even go as far as saying that we will certainly chase them down next season for a top-four and be on a level playing field the year after. In the meantime, we need the North London Derby win and are more than capable of doing so.
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