Dreaming of a famous win 1 March, 2013Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
It’s always been in the balance me going to White Hart Lane this Sunday, but last night I decided for sure that I’d go along. To be honest I’ve been trying to avoid it for a number of reasons, mainly money but all that has been on my mind this week is this game and the ‘fuck it’ moment came yesterday evening. So now the derby is really on my mind, to the extent I had a rather distressing dream about it last night. The pre-match was all as expected, a few beers before the short journey east, lots of singing and equal measures of nerves. The first half was tense, as you’d expect. So tense it was plain boring and the whistle came for half time without even a shot registered for either team. For some reason I thought I’d pop home for a beer in the half time break, as you do.
All was well, we sat down, had a beer and then got ready to head back for the second half. I even contemplated getting a road beer from the off-licence that had magically appeared opposite my house but I thought no, we can’t miss the start of the second half. Off we went walking back to White Hart Lane but this is where the trauma sets in, I couldn’t remember the way for the life of me. We walked in circles, down dead-ends, across fields, into different dimensions – you name it, we went there. Still under the impression I could make it into the ground in time, I was pacing round North London like a mad man. However not once did I think to check the score, or even my watch for that matter still convinced we could make it back to the second half.
Then just as I thought we’d made it, we turned the corner and found ourselves back at Finsbury Park. Rage set in, I had a right hissy-fit that I was going to miss the second half and conceded that, that pub over there would have to do the trick. As we entered Arsenal had just scored! Yes! Why wasn’t everyone going mental though? Oh no, why? It turned out because it was the 95th minute and we were already 4-0 up by this stage, some youngster with the name ‘Parlour’ across the back of his shirt (no number, just Parlour) had come on and completed the quickest hat-trick of all time to make it 5-0 to The Arsenal. It wasn’t Ray, but some wonder-kid that Geoff Shreeves couldn’t quite contain his excitement about running onto the pitch, microphone in hand to get the inside scoop as Gareth Bale could be seen in the distance wondering quite what had happened.
The scenes at White Hart Lane were incredible but I was just sat there in this bar gutted that it wasn’t me there. Then I woke up, sulked for a bit, before remembering the game isn’t actually for another two days. 5-0 though ay? I’d take that if you offered it to me now.
Back to reality and there’s some team news. About Diaby is 50:50 and Bacary Sagna has been ruled out completely. Those who read my reaction to the Blackburn game will know that I won’t be missing Diaby too much but I think Sagna is a huge loss. In the last two or three games he’s put that bit of bad form behind him and has shown he is definitely one of the first names on the team sheet when fit. And in a game when the whole media focus is on an ape he would be marking, it’s a position Spurs will look to exploit.
We have a number of options for replacements:
Carl didn’t have the best of days in his last outing at Sunderland but he showed some great form early on this season. If he can reproduce that then we’re laughing. One bonus Carl does have up his sleeve is the Gooner Card, which automatically means an instant animosity towards one’s neighbor. If any of us were given the chance in this game, you know we’d give our absolute all. He’s our representative out there and maybe that will do him a favour.
Has done well when shuffled there against Sunderland and Blackburn. Although I believe he will start in midfield on Sunday in Diaby’s absence.
Thomas Vermaelen / Nacho Monreal
We could ask these two to flank the wings but it’s one thing to ask Vermaelen to play out of his familiar position on the left side but to also move newcomer Nacho to the right might be asking too much.
I do like Le Coq, and do think he’s done well in this position in the past. I think he’s a strong contender for a start on Sunday but I have a feeling we’ll see Jenkinson. I love Le Coq’s passion and he’s great with and winning the ball. I’d be happy to see him play but I don’t see who it would be at the expense of.
Well that’s something the manager has to mull over today. Well, hopefully he’s already done plenty of mulling this week and knows his plan already. Carl will have seen the opportunity he has this weekend and I’m sure he would’ve been putting extra efforts in training this weekend to prove he’s the man for the job.
In Wenger’s press conference today he didn’t give much more away. Only than when trying to list off Tottenham’s ex-greats he struggled to do so but I don’t really blame him. Apart from that he said much about nothing. He was asked what the plan was for Bale which in brief he replied, “Nothing” but do you really expect him to divulge his master plan even if he had one? We’ve always been a team that concentrates on what we do, not the opposition; Whether you think we’re still strong enough to do that is an argument for another day but if we have any plan for Bale I reckon it won’t be a lot more than to make sure we’re providing extra cover the right back.
This huge derby has become a game of many previews, so expect another one over the weekend. Happy Friday people. I’m off to put a fiver on a Parlour hat-trick.