Cup Romance, Nelson’s Column & Early NLD Thoughts

Who said that romance in football is dead? Carl Jenkinson brings his travelling band of Championship misfits to the Emirates for the third round of the Carabao Cup. He’ll be eagerly scanning the teamsheet for names he recognises among all the reserves. And that of Shkodran Mustafi, just to give Nottingham Forest that extra edge in the clash.

As per usual, however, the real world interrupts those thoughts. The North London Derby is upon us and positive thoughts fill the air.

It feels like a ‘do or die’ match, more so than just a derby. Maybe that’s because of the imminent arrival of the international break. Just as you get into the rhythm of the season, the internationals come along and we’re left reflecting on Mr Bang Average’s England team.

Some of us are anyway. Others have their Mr Bang Average or worse – occasionally better – to worry about.

For Arsenal and Tottenham, it’s about the top-four finish. A quick glance at the Premier League table sees them on four points and us on six. Both sides come into the game off the back of a defeat. Both want a win to put a bit of pep into their strides to build momentum for the autumn fixtures.

Neither side wants to lose for obvious reasons. The youngsters coming through on our side certainly add some zest to the fixture. In the car yesterday, my youngest voiced his fear that the players didn’t understand the meaning of the match. They ‘get’ the local derby element, that no-one wants to lose, he said. But do they really understand what it means?

He felt they can insert any teams names into the conversation and have it the world over without skipping a beat. But that doesn’t mean they ‘get it’.

Fair Point

Which is, indeed, a fair point.

However, those who played in the game before, certainly at the Emirates now understand what it means. There is a frisson in the air at the derby which no other match generates.

Tottenham’s brief stay in the top four promotes that. Previously, it was just about bragging rights; now there’s an edge to the outcome.

That’s before you even think about the animosity toward them.

For the new faces, certainly Nicolas Pepe, it’s going to be something different. Is the match against Lens as intense for Lille? Maybe, I don’t know. There’s an undercurrent in this derby, however, of hatred. I genuinely don’t have any Tottenham supporting friends. None and never have in the past, to the best of my recollections.

Worked with a few in the past but they were generally wrong ‘uns. The sort who kiss backsides to climb the corporate ladder. The sort you wouldn’t even give a sponge to because you know they’d try and stab you in the back with it. You know the sort.

It’s a big weekend on the pitch as well. For several players, it’s the ideal time to score their first goal or play their best game for the club.

David Luiz talks a good game but delivered his speech at Anfield in his Sideshow Bob Sunday best. “We’ve got to improve defensively,” he suggested, “if we want to compete for the title.”

He’s taken to the role of club comedian like a duck to water. Most of all, we need to cut out the stupid mistakes. You know, the shirt tugs in the penalty area, that sort of thing.

He knows that but can’t help himself. We need more of the Burnley performances than Anfield repeats. Otherwise, we’ve just bought an £8m Brazilian Mustafi.

Young at Heart

Yet the hope comes in Willock, Pepe and Reiss Nelson. The latter spoke positively about this is his “time”. It’s a testing time for him. A year in the Bundesliga went well for him, probably better than he expected. For us, he’s made a decent start; not pulling up trees but steady.

I thought it harsh when he got hooked against Burnley but that was more to do with giving Pepe 45 minutes than anything else. He certainly is complimentary about the manager, suggesting he was told well in advance what would happen.

Nelson is certain this season is a launchpad for his career:

I need to just keep training hard and getting all the information from the coaches and the players. If I do that, I’m going to have a big, big shout this season.

Reiss Nelson’s on a mission

With Euro2020 around the corner, it’s probably too soon to have ambitions for England. More likely is the World Cup qualifiers which follow on from that tournament.

He’s more likely to get there than Joe Willock although I think the centre of England’s midfield is the weak spot. OK, so it’s the weakest of the weak spots. Willock is certainly as good as any of the youngsters in the Premier League so far this season; a lack of experience counts against him.

After Pepe’s miss at Anfield, he could do with a goal to settle himself into the team. Unlucky with an effort which curled past the post, he should have scored when one-on-one with Adrian; it was a bad miss and you know he knows it.

Put him in that situation again with a couple of goals under his belt and this time he scores. Football is all about ifs, buts and maybes.

Taking Chances

Nelson knows that and is saying, as well as doing, the right things:

It’s about taking those steps, doing the easy thing and getting the basics right first. Once I do that, I think I will get chances. Then it’s up to me to perform and do well for the team.

The world, young man, is your oyster

If you can oblige on Sunday, so too can we. Who put the ball in Tottenham’s net, Nelson, Nelson…

Yeah, OK, it doesn’t scan the same way that it did for Charlie Nicholas but if he scores, who cares!

’til Tomorrow

40 thoughts on “Cup Romance, Nelson’s Column & Early NLD Thoughts

  1. jonnygunner says:

    Can’t believe-at 54 that I’m more nervous than ever about Sunday’s result.Why does football do this to us YW?
    Thankyou for this mornings post.

  2. Ferkov says:

    Nervous for Sunday. Merse has whiffed a change, and gone in with both nostrils. Never the wisest.
    Gonna be tight as a nut til kickoff that’s the only certainty.
    Also got the big Euro draw tomorrow 🙄
    Maybe get a decent awayday fixture, other than an unachievable first game trip in a fortnight.

  3. jonnygunner says:

    Still in Europe. Fingernails only

    You were on a hat trick as well…….

  4. Ferkov says:

    That’s my big chance blown. Unlike Pepe’s we all hope.
    Back to work next week. Sacred blue.

  5. Ferkov says:

    Big Mo may have found a new holiday home….allegedly. But it is Turkey. So it’s as likely to be Borehamwood.

    Think a loan is a good move. Do think he could command a decent fee once he’s had chance to show his capabilities away from the Ems.

  6. C says:

    Excited for the Derby and I think Luiz’s dark arts could come in handy.

    Pepe, Nelson and Willock cab be huge parts of the core moving forward. I do think Pepe will be fine and what a time for him to come show his stuff against Spuds and the cheater Rose.

  7. andy1886 says:


    It’s a tough choice given all of the options but in my opinion Son tops the list of biggest cheats in the Spuds team. Bambi on ice does a better of job of staying on his feet than Son in the vicinity of the penalty area.

  8. Ferkov says:


    Wrt Taylor Swifts cleavage. Can you do something similar with Mustafi’s CV. The clock is ticking

  9. C says:

    Elneny off to Bestikas on a season-long loan.

  10. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    OMG YW! This will go down as one of your best ever! I burst out with laughter, openly in the bar in Derby and I quote – “I genuinely don’t have any Tottenham supporting friends. None and never have in the past, to the best of my recollections.

    Worked with a few in the past but they were generally wrong ‘uns. The sort who kiss backsides to climb the corporate ladder. The sort you wouldn’t even give a sponge to because you know they’d try and stab you in the back with it. You know the sort.”

    You nailed it. I’m recently dating a new lady who has a Spuds supporting son. Do I offer the olive branch?

  11. C says:

    While its great for Arsenal, I just can’t understand how Lacazette doesn’t get selected for France again…

  12. nicky says:


    As you get older you get more confident, so don’t worry. I’m 95 and firmly believe that the Gunners will win every game.

  13. Ferkov says:

    Not sure if same is happening to me Nicky.
    But just looked thru potential draw for EL today, scanning the number of oppos that would have been Wengerian banana skins. Not a flicker of concern. No nerves for Sunday then?

  14. nicky says:


    No nerves at all Ferkov. Still can’t believe how well we did in the Window. 😎

  15. Ferkov says:

    The doom merchants forecasts of our decimating squad exodus, made it all the sweeter.
    The future’s so bright😎.

  16. Stu says:

    Portugal, Belgium and Germany then for those who want to go to away Europa league group matches. Nice.

  17. Ferkov says:


    Vitoria looks a bit of a ball ache, but Porto en route would be fun.
    The others are superb. With or without tickets

  18. C says:

    Arsenal, Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege, Vitoria

    Not a bad draw at all.

  19. jonnygunner says:

    Arsenal, Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege, Vitoria

    Not a bad draw at all.

    Very quiet on here today folks…

  20. Ferkov says:


    Packing up and kronenborg for me!
    Hoping someone’s saved me a seat for Frankfurt. Lalalala.
    Roll out tomorrow, home ready for Sunday . Boom.

  21. Ferkov says:

    Oh ffs.
    Frankfurt away up first. No chance for leave request. Sickie!

  22. Arsetralian says:


    You say that
    Most groups have only 1 strong team
    We seem to have the finalists (bar penalties debacle) from last EL
    But did they lose their best striker to Bayern or someone?

  23. Arsetralian says:

    On 4 June 2019, Jović signed for Real Madridfor a reported €60 million, on a six-year contract.

    Must I do all the work round here!?

    Oh well frankfurter lost their main sausage is the message

  24. Las says:

    Good day. YW are you alright? Tomorrow is NLD and we are very much missing your post and thoughts on it. Also Monreal is leaving.
    Frightening signs.
    I hope Lawro will eat his words and Luis will not be stupid this one time.

  25. Michael says:

    You are correct about YW lack of post.
    My day doesn’t start properly without 1, and am happy to forego a Boom, for todays offering.

  26. YW says:

    Get your fingers poised, wriggle them and hover. Today’s post is, pending interruptions here, in the works…

  27. Ferkov says:

    Someone thrown a spud in the works YW?

  28. C says:

    Thank You Nacho for being a consistently really good LB and player. Could always count on you for a 7-7.5/10 at minimum.

  29. Ferkov says:

    Despite what la marca says, he’s got to be playing tomorrow,no?
    Been training all week

  30. C says:


    Nope, even the .com and Arsenal twitter have wished him amd Elneny a good luck. I fancy we kept him through Liverpool and Sead has been training in the first XI all week.

  31. Ferkov says:

    Wouldn’t put it past Emery tho .
    No one predicts his selection , or even formation when the team is announced. Perplexing for us, but worse for Poch

  32. Ferkov says:


    Manure fail to win against 10 man Saints.
    Olé Olé Olé

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