NORTH LONDON DERBY EVE
AM I READY TO GO
YES. Yes I am.
The great thing about these games over the years is it doesn’t matter how good your form is… it’s a bucket of madness every time.
It’s cliche to say, but form really goes out the dog flap.
Tomorrow’s game has gone from absolute dread, to slightly intriguing.
Say what you will about the mighty Pochettino, but his Spurs side have been landing plaudits all season and they’re only 4 points ahead of us. Pretty pony if you ask me. That tells me they’re entirely beatable tomorrow.
I watched them against Liverpool at the weekend. If it weren’t for some pretty unfair reffing, they’d have lost that game (great news that it was a draw tbf). Trouble with them is they really are lethal all over the park. Not the ideal side to come up against when you’re defending like amateurs.
It’s a huge game for the midfield. Aaron Ramsey isn’t going to be gifted an opportunity to do whatever like he was against Everton last week. He’ll have to channel that discipline he had against Chelsea away earlier in the season. His runs will have to be timed smartly and he’ll have to consider the team. If you expose the backline against Spurs, they have killer lining up ready to execute you.
I personally think we really missed Jack Wilshere against Swansea. He’s experienced in North London derbies and I think he’d be a great option tomorrow. However, Wenger will be seeing that Ramsey hattrick and the post-Sanchez lift in his performance and no doubt be keen to see if the cloud really has been lifted on his xProduction stats.
So what will we see? Will Arsene play things tactically? Will we see 4-3-2-1? Will he go with 3 at the back? Will he play 2 strikers? So many options. The question is whether he plays Ramsey or Wilshere, in an ideal world, I’d go with both. I’m not sure Xhaka gives us any defensive stability, and to be honest, I’d prefer Elneney over the Swiss.
The forward mix is going to be interesting. If he goes all out, will we see Iwobi on the left because he defends, Mikki right with Auba central… with Ozil sitting in behind? Or will we channel 2006, and rock a 4-5-1 and play the Henry inspired counter attack game?
Wenger was asked about cheating and whether he was into the dark arts after the dirty cheating foreigner down the road admitted he is solely responsible for coaching cheating into a sweethearted young boy who just want to make hooker sex tapes in his spare time.
‘We have to get the diving out of the game. I remember there were tremendous cases here when foreign players did it but I must say the English players have learned very quickly and they might even be the masters now.’
To be honest, it’s refreshing as an Englishman, to have your players recognised for being internationally world class at something outside drinking. Also, Wenger’s comments are so on the money. English players are the pits when it comes to cheating, all this ‘honest as the day is long’ nonsense is so old-fashioned. Harry Kane and Alli are disgraceful on the regular.
I’m not saying our players are any better, but they are.
Wenger is keen that the players don’t lose their shit tomorrow. Wembley is basically our home from home of late, what, 10 games there and 9 wins? I don’t think the emotion of the occasion will get to anyone.
‘The players know because we’ve had many players who have been here for years. The good thing in sport is that you have to find a good balance between being rational and emotional.’
I’m actually incredibly excited to see how our attack plays. I’m looking forward to seeing what we do with a striker who can outpace a fat dog on a skateboard. I’m looking forward to seeing if the future is here, or Everton just tricked us by being so utterly useless.
It’s going to be a cracker.
Damn, I’ve literally worked so many hours this week, I thought it was Friday and the game was tomorrow.
What a joke.
Enjoy regardless, and hear our thoughts on Spurs on this week’s podcast.
Listen, rate, share with your mum.