Well I’ve always said that the first 10 games of the new season will show us what Arsenal can do this year. We’ve played 6 already and won 5 of them, and the one game we did draw should have been won – except for a bad Jens Lehmann howler.
But the next 5 games are huge.
We play all of the matches this month in London and therefore we don’t have to travel (much) so this is the perfect time for Arsenal to really push forward and get a decent run going.
If Arsenal are unbeaten going into October then I could not be happier because it would show the new resilience this current squad seem to have.
That would be the perfect start to the season.
We’ve heard several players comment on how the team is together and won’t be bullied anymore.
This is the time to show it.
And the test continues on Saturday against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Many people are thinking this game is a forgone conclusion but if football has taught us anything it’s that when you write off a team that’s when they are at their most dangerous.
And Tottenham are in total disarray.
They sacked Martin Jol, failed to bring in Ramos from Sevilla and then said they didn’t sack Jol after all! Then there were the stories of Berbatov leaving for United, Robbie Keane’s tantrum after being replaced by Defoe against Fulham and the late goals conceded to throw away the 3 points at Craven Cottage.
Then there’s their current form this season.
Spurs sit in 14th place, with 4 points. They have played one more game than us this season and have only beaten Derby, and drew to Fulham.
And then there’s our record in the North London derbies.
We have not lost against Spurs since 1999 which ended 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
Despite all this, Arsenal would be stupid to under-estimate Spurs and forgive me for being a little cautious come Saturday afternoon.
Facts & Trivia:
- Arsenal remain unbeaten against Spurs in the last eighteen encounters. This includes 14 Premiership, 1 FA Cup and 2 Carling Cup matches.
- Bobby Pires and Alan Sunderland share the most goals in an Arsenal shirt in North London derbies, with 8 a piece.
- From the 155 games between Arsenal and Spurs; Arsenal have currently won 65, drawn 41 and lost 49.
- David O’Leary holds the record for most North London derbies played, with 35 appearances.
- While only 4 players have ever moved from Arsenal to Spurs, the number of Spurs players moving to Arsenal currently stands at 9.
- Arsenal have clinched the title twice at White Hart Lane, in 1971 and also in 2004, when Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires scored to help Arsenal to the 2-2 draw they needed.
- Vieira and Pires were also involved – and scored – in the highest ever North London Derby, when Arsenal won 5-4 at White Hart Lane in the 2004/2005 season.
P.S. The match doesn’t seem to be on Sky or Setanta so does anyone know where I can actually watch this game? (Edit: I’m in the UK)