Preview: Tottenham vs Arsenal
By Randy Osae
Arsenal’s declining momentum means the source of derby day’s keen palm-rubbing is the acquisition of new Russian aroma.
Whether Arshavin will have a say tomorrow is one variable decision, but ask any fan and learn; this is one of ‘the’ matches nonetheless.
Such occasions top the bill for neutrals – it has always been a must to witness a north London derby, but Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp share one purpose.
That is to rather NOT have their men go out there to be ‘drama kings’. Forget the entertainment and local bragging rights at stake. Three points could not have mattered more.
But if there are any theatrics to pit that 4-4 draw back in October, then Sunday might have a lot in store. That result has been one of the discolorations of Arsenal’s season – whether against a rival or not, whether a point gained or point lost, the fashion in which a momentous victory was denied is what hurts.
Look back and see how Arsenal have been impaired since.
Going into their shortest ever away trip this campaign, Wenger’s men have been shoved into that tenebrous environment of craving the Premier League title from fifth place and with the figure of their arrears now double digits.
Tottenham themselves only have memories of the honey moon with Harry Redknapp. It’s gloomy times too at the other side of north London as the old nemesis still tussles for survival in the Premier League.
You may argue that buoyancy can be regained with another muffling of the ever pleasant White Hart Lane, but you can’t debate Arsenal’s faults have been showing up in these games. Instead it’s been how they respond to expectations of having a walk in a park on other days that has let the Gunners down.
Once it was Manchester United, then Chelsea. Could a post-Tottenham triumph be the season’s revival?
Wenger’s men will give their answer on Sunday…and after.
With a work-permit now granted, only fitness can deny new signing Andrey Arshavin participation. Emmanuel Eboue is fit after limping off last Saturday, but Abou Diaby deals with suspension and injury on the sidelines.