Tottenham take the North London Derby 4 March, 2013Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
Well that was pretty gutting/deflating/predictable/annoying/frustrating [delete/add as appropriate]. It was all looking so well for half an hour or so, we were dangerous and it looked like we were likely to open the scoring then with the blink of an eye the defence is split open twice like it wasn’t even there and it was 2-0 to them.
For that one minute it was 1-0 I thought, ‘Well that’s a load of shit but we can come back.’ However at 2-0 I didn’t know what to think or maybe I didn’t want to think it. I consoled in the fact Tottenham has thrown two-goal leads away to us in the past but this time it seemed like we had it all to do. In the end it was too much to ask and we only managed one in response which leaves us 7 points behind them with 10 to play. It’s a big task, it’s a do-able task though. However Tottenham have a strong advantage now, not to mention the confidence boost that beating us will give them.
As I made my way home from the game yesterday evening I was forced to imagine what it would be like if Spurs do finish above us. I managed to convince myself that it wouldn’t be the end of the world and that it would give us something to fight back for next season. But fuck that, I don’t want to entertain the thought. Come on Arsenal, you’d better get us out of this.
To yesterday and after lunch I walked down to the 12 Pins at Finsbury Park for a few much needed pint-sized nerve settlers. All seemed well at the pub, the Gooners were in full force and full voice ahead of the most anticipated game of the season, the sun was out and it seemed like we were destined for a good day.
I was confident at this point, I thought we’d scrape a narrow win. I don’t know what gave me this idea, sheer blind hope I guess. At risk of completely losing my voice before I’d even arrived in Tottenham I got the short train ride behind enemy lines to White Hart Lane Station. I was in the thick of it, walking amongst the foul-smelling, knuckle-dragging wankers to the shithole they called home. In my head I imagined this famous image. I wasn’t keen to hang about and take in the sights on this particular away trip, I was straight into the ground with my fellow species.
Despite more of those nerve settlers than was probably necessary on a Sunday afternoon, they weren’t working and once inside I started to get a bit worried again. This was either going to go two ways I thought, an incredible thrashing I’d never forget or a disastrous thrashing I’d never forget.
And for about half an hour, I thought it was going to be the former. We were all over them and we were in full voice. It was great! I was situated in the upper tier just metres away from the caged locals to my left. I didn’t hear a peep from them until Gareth Bale was put clean through completely against the run of play to make it 1-0. For about a minute most of the Gooners were still voicing their support but then they struck again and it hit hard. I’ve only really been able to analyse the goals having seen the replays back today but even at the time it looked as if our defence was completely non-existent. You could tell they weren’t offside too, just two simple balls for two easy goals.
One of these days Vermaelen will have to be taken aside and told how to, 1. organize his defence, but 2. organize himself. Unfortunately that day was back in August/September time and Wenger missed the appointment.
We needed a goal before half time – that would really have changed things. But we never picked ourselves up in time. So we really needed an early second half goal and we got it. The comeback was on! My celebrations were unusually conservative considering the venue but my jeans and body stayed intact this time as we were still losing at The Shithole.
The clock ticked, time seemed to fly by in the second half and in the end the goal didn’t come. We couldn’t recapture that form from the opening 30 minutes and Tottenham recorded what could become the win that sees them finish above us.
They went mad, and rightly so. It’s huge for them. As was exiting down the aisle right next to the home fans after the final whistle one of them thought he should remind me of the score by leaning over the barrier and subjecting me to his vile face at close range. I politely placed him back in his enclosure…
It’s been a few years since I’ve visited that place and leaving the ground there’s always the chance of confrontation outside. I think it’s mostly down to the ridiculous policing of it. They form a line outside our exit so that when you come out the two sets of fans are separated down the road. However what on earth do the police think is going to happen when that line comes to a stop at the junction at the end of the road? I didn’t see anything that bad but there were some scuffles, I wasn’t the receiver or giver of anything other than words thankfully. Mostly being told to head back to Woolwich despite the fact that I live firmly in North London, as my father does and before him his father and before him The Arsenal who’ve now been here for 100 years.
A little further down they decided to separate off the home and away fans again and that was the end of it but you’d think there must be a better way of avoiding this rather than funnelling rival fans at one another, making it very clear who each other represent despite the fact most people have made the effort not to wear colours.
Anyway, we’ve got 10 days to reflect on what went wrong now. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I know what I’d rather be doing, looking forward to an FA Cup tie this weekend but that’s another story. We need to use this extended break to focus on the huge job ahead now. 7 points in 10 games won’t be easy but it is possible. I’m not going to give up anyway, I’ll be giving my 100% from the terraces so I expect the same from the guys on the pitch. It won’t be a trophy, but to overhaul Tottenham once again will be great triumph and an enjoyable one. Afterall, we did the very same last year and we were singing tales of this great victory just yesterday…
“There were 10 Tottenham points in The Gap.
There were 10 Tottenham points in The Gap.
There were 10 Tottenham points,
10 Tottenham points,
10 Tottenham points in The Gap.
And the boys from The Arsenal shot one down…”
Come on Arsenal.