As we approach the first North London derby of the season the two teams, Arsenal and Spurs, come into the game having experienced somewhat tumultuous starts to their respective seasons.
Arsenal have endured their worst start to a league campaign in 20 years after a promising start where it looked like their notoriously leaky backed four had been fixed. Spurs, under the stewardship of new manager Andre Villas Boas, have more up and down then a yo-yo. An excellent 3-2 win at Old Trafford is coupled with a loss at home to Wigan. You get the picture.
Whilst Villas Boas and Spurs would no doubt relish a victory at the Emirates, it is the hosts that really need a victory to jump start a season that is in serious danger of being fading out befor it has even begun.
This fixture last season was won 5-2 by Arsenal and gave them the impetus to go on an secure third spot (just), something that appeared very unlikely throught the first months of the season. Spurs, on the other hand, crumbled as their conceded third spot, lost their manager and, as a result of Chelsea’s Champions League triumph, missed out on a place in Europe’s elite competition and all its lovely revenue.
I think that the game on Saturday has the potential to have similar impacts for both teams. As it stands Spurs are currently 7th whilst Arsenal lie just one place below in 8th with a solitary point separating the teams. A win for Arsenal could be the jolt they need to wake them up from their slumber and provide them with the confidence that is needed to beat teams in the Premier League.
Spurs, too, would take a great deal of momentum from a victory at the Emirates over their rivals and could perhaps find some consistency that has so far eluded them season. Villas Boas’ aim is probably finish top four and in order to do that they have to stop losing at home to teams like Wigan. A win here could do that for them and Spurs could make a real go of securing a Champions League spot this season.
But victory for Arsenal is of the utmost importance as another shoddy result at home and morale will sink even further than Arsene Wenger has into his very large puffa jacket in recent weeks.
Naturally, after saying all this is it will probably end up a draw. Typical.
Jerry van Wav