Thursday, October 30, 2008


How does one even begin to process what happened in the Arsenal, Spurs derby last night?

What seemed to be wrapping as a statement of intent by Arsenal - the brushing aside of inferior opposition that we all expected and hoped for - ended with the manifestation of fears that we, as Gooners, have buried all year. 

Team team is gorgeous going forward. Nasri and Walcott are adding a dimension that I don't think many would have even hoped for at the start of the season. But still, we've not got a snarling pit bull anywhere on the pitch.

Gallas has been a diva, and as our most experienced central defender and captain, as has been pointed out on many occasions in this space already, more is expected of him. 

Now granted, it's unfair of me to level much of an assessment. As Jim dutifully pointed out, many times it just blows trying to keep up in America. And those yahoos who put together the fixtures in their ivory tower (Jintao, Putin ... I'm looking in your direction. You'll be found out you bleedin' reds! I'm on to you.) end up slamming one of the biggest matches of the year on a freaking Wednesday!?!?!

So I'm glued to my laptop at work, keeping as much of an eye on the ticker and minute-by-minute report as I can, that's what I'm left with. Normally on days like those I'd be proudly wearing my Arsenal scarf - even at the office. They're all used to it by now. They see the flag at my desk, the two Zidane statues (can we call them relics at this point?). Last time I wore that scarf for the Derby, we dropped the league cup semi to Spurs 5-1. It was embarrassing, and I almost burned the damned thing.

Today, I don't even know what to think. This side better find some steal in defense - not just in the back four but throughout the pitch - and they better find it fast. They are well and truly capable of contending this year.

Not if we continue to concede. 

For the moment ... Look out Stoke. This team is going to be p.i.s.s.e.d. come Saturday. As am I. I pity the Spurs onlooker who decides to show their marbles and give me stick. 

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