North London derby isn’t the game you’d want to have going into deadline day
and the international break. This result will dictate the atmosphere around the
club for the next two weeks and one can’t deny that it’s them, and not us, who
go into this game with confidence and not to forget, A SQUAD.
There is so much for Arsenal to do in
the remaining three days outside the field that a loss here would be
catastrophic. I can’t even help myself to think about the aftermath.
Anyway, Sunday’s game is all about
what we’ve got and I got in touch with Mark of Spurs Fanatic to pick his
brains on Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. He didn’t brag about their summer like
some of the other Spurs fans I know but most of what he said was well thought
out and unbiased. He isn’t convinced of another 5-2 score line cropping up
while he thinks Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham are the winners from the Gareth
Bale transfer saga with most of that incoming money already invested in the
squad. Unfamiliar words for a Gooner I’d say……
Bale’s departure looks imminent after a summer saga not too unfamiliar for
Arsenal fans. How do you think Bale and Spurs come out of it?
Extremely well at the minute. The
biggest surprise is that Daniel Levy is re-investing most of the money when we
thought a fair amount of it would go towards the new stadium.
Last season, we were a bit of a
one-man team, often relying on Bale to pull out something special. Bringing in
Soldado, Capoue, Chadli, Chiriches, Paulinho and Lamela has really given us
strength in a number of key positions.
Spurs have pretty much been the standout team in England during the transfer
window. What’s your take on AVB’s spending spree?
It’s been very calculated to bring in
the right sort players to run his system. AVB likes to play the ball through
the defence to spring a runner in the channels or in-behind the full back where
he can square or cut the ball back from a short angle. The guys that he’s gone
out and got are perfect for that.
It’s not just AVB though. It’s not
only good to see Daniel Levy backing the manager, but Franco Baldini also has
to take a lot of the credit for what he’s done.
Getting good value for Dempsey,
Parker and Huddlestone, whilst finally getting the noose of David Bentley’s
wages off the books, has also helped finance this outlay.
With so many key players coming in, do you think Spurs might take time to adapt
and play to their best?
Yes, that’s the main concern,
especially as AVB is such a technical manager who drills his players in where
they should be and how they should act on the field. We did get a lot of our
business done early though, which does make a change from the usual eleventh
hour dealings on deadline day.
The fans’ take on the manager?
I think he is loved by most of the
fans now. A fair few weren’t convinced at the start of last season when the
results weren’t rolling, but most seem to have come around to him now. I can
remember taking a lot of criticism when I campaigned for him to take over when
Harry Redknapp was first linked with leaving for the England job. I had to
convince a lot of people he wasn’t another Christian Gross!
His contract only runs until the end
of next season though, so I think our biggest signing should be offering him an
improved, longer deal with a much bigger buyout clause. The interest from PSG
and links with Barca this summer show how his stock has increased following his
firing from Chelsea and we need to show our commitment to him.
Once Bale goes, who do you think will be Spurs’ MVP?
Soldado; Proven goal scorers are
always in demand and often the hardest to replace.
Arsenal are obviously big rivals but what’s your take on Arsenal as a football
I have a lot of respect for what
Arsene Wenger has achieved, especially during the financial constraints of
building a new stadium. To qualify for the Champions League every season is no
mean feat when you’re not overly spending due to a new ground.
From the outside, the club has always
seemed to be well run and built on a solid base. This summer seems to be one of
the most frustrating for your fans though, as the money to spend is finally
there but not being used. Standing still can often mean going backwards
I know there is no love lost but your take on the Arsenal fan base?
I think they’re being short changed
at the minute. Highest ticket prices and not investing in team, not a good
One Arsenal player you’d love to have in your team?
Santi Cazorla, two good feet and an
eye for a killer pass.
Tottenham have tried to finish ahead of Arsenal for quite some time now but
that moment hasn’t materialised. You think this could be the season?
Yes, the time is now for Spurs and
it’s increased with Arsenal’s lack of business in the transfer window. You
still have a solid team that’s been together for a while, whereas we have a lot
of new faces who need to gel. It’s going to be an interesting season.
Predictions for the game?
5-2 is probably a popular score line,
but I think we’ll try and over run your midfield without Mikel Arteta. I’ve got
Spurs to win a thriller 3-2.