Derby day: It's time to avenge the 5-1 & 4-4 defeats

In Arsenal FC, Premier League 2009/10 on October 31, 2009 by Highbury N5 Editor

So the big game is here at last and oh how lovely it would be to give these spuds a damn good mashing, we haven’t done so for a while and it would make it rather sweet.

You may think I’m wrong in calling the 4-4 game a defeat, but after getting so close to beating them only to see them haul it back, it felt like a defeat.

4-4 admit it, it hurt

On paper we should win, Spurs are without Defoe who is suspended and Aaron Lennon who has a knackered ankle, however they have Keane and Jenas in the side so that automatically means they will score at least one, Jenas always scores against us. Their defence should also be an issue, Woodgate got smashed in the face last week and didn’t look too healthy afterwards and was subbed, King only has half a leg as per usual so it will take quite some defensive performance from them to keep us out.

One thing Spurs will not do is sit back, they will have a go at us and that really does play into our hands. If the game opens up and Fabregas, Arshavin and van Persie get space they will wreak absolute havoc upon that Spurs defence, I would like to see Bendtner starting on the right but I can see us putting Eboue out there, Wenger knows in defence we are shocking and Eboue is a potential reinforcement.

I can see us lining up with Fabregas, Song and Diaby in the middle and I have no problem with that, Nasri certainly won’t start and there is a chance we might not see him off the bench tomorrow if he isn’t needed, we have Aaron Ramsey to come off the bench as an option too and again, if he comes into the game when there is space available he could cause damage – he is closing in on a start is Aaron.

Two of the front three pick themselves, Arshavin and van Persie who has scored 5 in his last 6 Premier League appearances so I would have a sneaky little punt on him opening the scoring tomorrow, either that or see what kind of odds there are on Vermaelen notching his sixth of the season, isn’t he due a goal? Eboue will probably start on the right ahead of Bendtner or Eduardo as I said earlier, I’m not sure on the fitness of Vela and with Rosicky still out there isn’t really anyone else to fit there.

Speaking of Bendtner, he is certainly one confident chap, he predicts he will become one of the worlds top strikers:

“Within five years I want to be the top scorer in the Premier League and I want to be known as a world-class striker. And it will happen. Trust me, it will happen. I look around at other players, I see my own ability and I can’t see anything that tells me it won’t happen. I’m sure people will think ‘What is he talking about?’ But as I have done before, and as I will do again, I will sit at the other end and laugh at those people when it is all done.”

He has the talent too, there are not many around like him and I said two seasons ago he could be better than Adebayor. I do like his confidence and his renewed work ethic; what is interesting is that when he talks about the incident with Adebayor at WHL he doesn’t make a meal out of it like you know the sliding arsehole would if he was on the receiving end. He is still young but he is improving – I wish people would get off his back. Add in his goals at international level this season and he has a very good tally and who would bet against him coming off the bench and scoring the winner – again?

This is our chance to really knock spurs down a peg or two; you have to hand it to them they have recovered well from their start last season and ol Twitch has done a good job but after unveiling their Ashburton Grove Mach 2 stadium plans they really do need teaching a lesson.

Manager, fans and players alike are all really, really up for this game. As fans we are owed for the disaster that was that 5-1 game, and the 4-4 debacle. I don’t think we have had a win against them since that game so a brilliant performance and a resounding win would send the Grove into another stratosphere tomorrow. It looks like we might have a slightly more interested Andrey Arshavin for this game too:

“Arshavin can change any game, anywhere at any moment so I believe he will have a great game tomorrow, he is a player I love, not only because he is talented but because he is efficient. I am confident he will have a big impact on the game tomorrow.”

Can he shut them up?

You may remember he was on the bench but unused for the game at WHL shortly after his arrival in January but he will understand how much this game means to us I’m sure. It will be his first North London derby and we could do with a Pires type who gets a compulsory goal against Spurs now that we have got rid of Adebayor who had a brilliant record against them. No pressure, Andrey.

Perhaps Wenger has the right attitude, he is almost taking the derby situation out of the game and just focusing on the three points up for grabs:

“We are in a strong position in the League and, above the derby, what is more important for me is to win the game because we want to win the title. I do not consider too much that we play Tottenham. I consider we can take three points to be in a stronger position in the League. That’s much more important.”

I can see where he is coming from, we need a victory after dropping points against West Ham, it meant that we couldn’t afford to draw this game and Spurs losing at home to Stoke last week means they can’t afford to draw or lose this game to keep up with us. It does all look towards a cracker of a game and I’m hoping I have nails left afterwards, I have a real feeling it could be one of those late mornings/early afternoons.

I can’t bloody wait for this.


till tomorrow.


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