Sunday’s game, Arsenal versus Tottenham Hotspur, will be the most crucial in Arsene Wenger’s reign as coach at Arsenal. Defeat may sound the alarm bells, signaling his departure from the English Premier League.
This is probably the first time in 20 years that Spurs will go into this fixture as favourites. Arsenal, appear to have lost the plot. They are out of contention this season of every domestic trophy and an exit from this season’s Champions’ League seems imminent, after the heavy 4-0 defeat to AC Milan, on the first leg in Italy. Arsenal will have to fight Liverpool, Chelsea and possibly Newcastle, for the fourth spot in the Premiership, to qualify for next season’s CL. They will, on Sunday, be desperately in need of a victory and all 3 points in order to stay in contention. Arsenal can’t afford to drop anymore points, especially at home. They will be up for it and eager for revenge from the 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane, earlier this season.
Wenger has only once lost a North London derby at home, in the 14 years he has been at the club. It will be seen as humiliation to the Arsenal faithful, if Arsenal fails to take victory against Spurs. For these reasons, and the fact that by not qualifying for CL football next year, Arsenal will stand to lose an estimated GBP45m, so Sunday’s game is no ordinary derby, but the clash of the North London Titans.
This season, the shift of power in North London is so evident, even ex Arsenal players are admitting to it. It is Spurs who are playing the free flowing football and not Arsenal.
It is the same free flowing football that the famous Spurs double winning side of 1960-1961 played.
The Spurs team has strength in depth, and with most of the injured players coming back to full fitness, Modric, Van de Vaart, Lennon and Adebayor will give Harry Redknapp options. A win on Sunday will put Spurs 13 points ahead of Arsenal, and Wilshere, who publicly bet with all takers, that Arsenal will end the season ahead of Spurs, also appears to be a lost cause. The Spurs team has the confidence to win this major event between the two North London rivals. A win for Spurs will see the Lilywhites disappear over the horizon from their North London arch rivals. They are finally playing the type of football that Tottenham has been traditionally associated with, something that we have lacked for many years. The team has gradually strengthened over the past 3 years and it’s not down to luck we find Spurs in the position they are presently in. Spurs supporters all hope that the grim days of the 1990’s and early 2000’s are dead and buried. Spurs fans hope that Tottenham take the game by the scruff of the neck and bag all three points, and then sit back and enjoy the spoils.