Tottenham v Arsenal – PREVIEW
Sunday sees our annual trip to White Hart Lane, to enter a footballing arena that belongs to the Victorian era.
Having been close to the “bare bones,” ‘Arry convinced his Chairman to cough up close to £50m to “rectify the mistakes of the previous regime.” Redknapp has brought back Tottenham old boys Defoe (injured for ten weeks) Chimbonda and Keane (“I want to join my boyhood team Liverpool and realise all my dreams”). Spurs are in a relegation dogfight and ‘Arry is the man to keep them up (ask the Southampton fans!).
Arsenal travel to the Lane on the back of several poor displays, but Sunday is a day we cannot afford any slip-ups. Spurs will be up for the games and we need to perform to our maximum potential. The points are vital for us in our pursuit of a Champions League spot, but also to try to condemn Spurs to relegation.
Despite the last minute Arshavin transfer, the Russian will not start on Sunday. Wenger and the team will be assessing Andrei’s fitness levels as it is the close season in Russia and he will not be match fit, but expect the Russian to come off the bench to add further woe against Championship bound Spurs. To add spice to the game, when asked on Arsenal TV about Pavlychenko, Arshavin replied that he is not his friend!
Diaby will be absent through suspension, Eboue, however, is available, could this be the game when the much maligned Ivorian becomes a hero? This gives Song the opportunity to play alongside Denilson and either Ramsey or Eboue will play out wide. Wenger could if he wanted to play Toure, Song, and Denilson in midfield to stifle the Spurs attacks, whilst allowing Nasri the freedom to float in a free role in front of the strikers. This role is a dangerous role as nobody is sure who should pick the floating man.
To take anything from this game we need to get stuck into Spurs from the outset, stop them from skipping around the pitch. What we cannot do is start the game in first gear and expect to change gears once we are chasing the game. We need to keep hold of the ball and start to create chances, when we have the opportunity the ball needs to whipped into the penalty area and then let Adebayor do the business.
Spurs have been mouthing off about the game already, sensing this is the game they get three points from us, this first time in many years.
Not to be outdone, their nemesis Adebayor has been promising Arsenal fans goals. Our striker has good record against Spurs. Adebayor owes Arsenal a good game and this is the time for him torment the Spurs defence.
Van Persie has been playing brilliantly and we need another master class performance from the Dutchman tomorrow.
Come on Arsenal this is a must win game for us to gain three points and to help Spurs on the path to their rightful place…the Championship.