The time for talking is over. Enough has been said this week about powershifts and god knows what else about how much better than us Tottenham are.
It doesn’t matter. It’s pontificating; Arsène spoke of efficiency being more important than toughness but it’s wrong; you need both in this fixture. Mentally and physically. Pochettino’s five-man midfield will…who gives a rat’s arse what they’ll do.
This isn’t tactics, this is pride. We’ve got knockout competitions to play for but let’s do what the 1985 team did: end their title hopes. They are slim anyway but let’s make them non-existent.
These are the things that matter when it comes to Tottenham.
Granit Xhaka said we don’t need to tell them about the importance of winning but if feels like we do. This week’s media contained a painful amount of utter bollocks – there’s no other word for it – from normally sane journalists. OK, so that’s something of an oxymoron but even Jonathan Wilson got in on the act.
Wilson made one point which sent a shiver down my spine, spinning his words accurately toward the Arsenal bullseye: “The Emirates reeks of broken dreams, not just of individuals but of the club as a whole. Stagnation has become a way of life.”
He is right but if there were ever a game to shake those cobwebs from the players systems, this is it. As Tony Adams told Lee Dixon before his first north London derby, we cannot lose this game.
How we could do with some of that spirit being injected into the players beforehand. That or PEDs; let’s face it, I don’t care how we win, just so long as we do.
Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Sanchez, Lacazette, Özil
It’s not the team I’d choose but Arsène will.
You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Beat The Swampdwellers
I would put Wilshere in for Özil, someone with the fire in his belly and a point or ten to prove. I get why Per will be chosen – LEADER! LEADER! LEADER! – but I’d put Holding in, with Koscielny told to replicate Nico and stick to Kane like glue. Mark him out of the game.
Most importantly, I’d give the players an injection, a bespoke concoction that only Arsenal can come up with. Mix together the fighting spirit of Adams, Rocastle, McLintock, Simpson, Storey, and Kennedy. Infuse that with Brady, Sunderland, and George.
Get that coursing through the veins of the squad to show pride in playing for Arsenal. Find the spirit which won the FA Cup last season and knocked Manchester City out in the semi-finals when nobody gave us a cat in hell’s chance. If it means Arsène painting his face red and white, standing in the middle of the dressing room and screaming, “For Chapman!”, summoning the ghosts of managers past, so be it.
It wasn’t so long ago that we enjoyed
and then this
These are all that matter.
JUST BLOODY WIN!
To keep you going until then, it’s K-tel and 2009 at Dad Jukebox.
Enjoy the match wherever you are watching us dance on the graves of Tottenham’s title dreams.