After all this waiting, the north London derby is finally upon us. Admittedly, we have only had to wait about three weeks for the match as the season has only just started, but that really shouldn’t make this match any less important, a Champions League six pointer for the third match of the season.
Due to our lack of signings, it looks like, for now, that it’s another season in which we chase the top four, and bar maybe Liverpool, it’s between us and our local, and biggest rivals in football. Really, all you have to do is look at that fact and if the players can’t get themselves motivated for this then they are definitely in the wrong profession. After qualifying for the competition only this week and looking at the quality of the opposition in our group, the boys in red really aren’t going to want to leave that and start playing on Thursday nights on channel five like Spurs have to done for all these years. And, to change that, Spurs have paid close to £100 million revamping their squad. The motivation and pressure for a game so early in a season is absolutely colossal, and with a sell-out crowd expected, the atmosphere should be electric.
From a team news point of view, it really isn’t the best news. Podolski has been ruled out until November and, although it’s only one injury, due to our horrific squad depth it completely changes the layout of our team. Cazorla will be switched to wide left, and Rosicky brought into the middle to fill in for where the Spaniard would usually be, with Wilshere playing with Ramsey in the centre. Although the so called ‘double pivot’ in the middle of the park of Ramsey and Wilshere stays the same, when Cazorla is pushed out wide he doesn’t seem to have the same influence from when playing just off the striker. But, if ever there was a day to prove me wrong, this match is just about perfect.
To add to this, the injury creates an even bigger strain on our threadbare squad, and although the starting eleven is still very good, the options from the bench are now even more inexperienced. Despite the recent addition of Mathieu Flamini, players such as Serge Gnabry, who has just four first team appearances to his name may have to feature, which in the third game of the season, really is not good enough. But in good news, Laurent Koscielny is back from suspension and is fit to play. Always a silver lining ey?
This is how I think we will line up:
Sagna Koscielny Mertersacker Gibbs
Walcott Wilshere Cazorla
Despite playing midweek, I think that Gibbs will get the nod over Monreal for this one. That was the Spaniards first start of the season and after playing in the Confederations cup this summer, it wouldn’t surprise me if he took a seat on the bench, maybe even next to Bendtner? (Shudders). Apart from that the team pretty much picks itself, which in itself is a shining beacon for help to Wenger, which then blinds him and makes him loose his chequebook. Just our luck.
Arsenal 3-2 Spurs
I know it’s cliché, but I really do think this is going to be the biggest derby in years. Tottenham have finally got themselves a squad to rival ours and are at a similar level to us due to their good work, not our mistakes. However, they’re very much a work in progress. Five new signings don’t click overnight, and with each player coming in with a massive ego, it will take a while for them to reach their potential. And this, this is where if feel we will win it. We have a team that despite what the press says, still has quality in every position, and some outstanding talents. They have been together a year now, they know each other inside out and know what to expect from a derby like this; Passion. After seeing some of the comments made on twitter, this derby feels like it’s going to be off the chain; A stadium sell-out, derby bragging rights and the main event on a Ford Super Sunday. Hold onto your hats.
Walcott, Giroud and Wilshere to score…
COME ON YOU GOONERS!!!!!