Death, taxes and Spurs not winning at the Emirates. These are things you can count on as we head into the North London derby this weekend.
Sure, Spurs have won once at the Emirates in the league, but even the tax system let’s a few people away without paying their fair share.
No, there’s only going to be one winner this weekend, and that’s Unai Emery’s men.
It’s not often you lose a game and end up feeling even more confident for the next one, but that’s where the large bulk of Arsenal fans find themselves as we head towards the first north London derby of the season.
Some might be concerned about getting too ahead of ourselves, that pride, does indeed, come before a fall and that wins over Newcastle and Burnley are nothing to brag about. At least Arsenal beat Newcastle which is more than we can say about Spurs who are supposed to be challenging for the title.
Recently, there would be concern ahead of this game but, for the first time in what feels an age (probably three years, imagine being Spurs fans and feeling like that for two decades) Spurs look like the club in shambles while Arsenal are getting – and holding – our sh*t together.
Is that it, have Spurs reached their peak, crushed by defeat in a Champions League final they’d no right to be in in the first place? I do hope so.
There are, of course, eerie parallels with Arsenal and their Champions League final that came just before they moved to a new stadium unlike Spurs’ which came just after. But Arsenal didn’t have a manager itching to go somewhere else, cocksure of his own ability to win things despite never having won things. Poch looks and sounds like he realises he’s taken Spurs to the peak of their powers and not even he, oh great one, can get any more out of them.
There were rumours that Mauricio Pochettino was off after this game. I didn’t believe them for a minute, even before he dismissed them following a ‘secret’ meeting with Daniel Levy that was the main splash in all the big papers, but the fact is – the rumour existed. Happy is as happy does, and all is not smiley in N17, no matter what Spurs are briefing the media.
'Secret' talks lmao. They've briefed nearly every media outlet! pic.twitter.com/umqdWbPRwu
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) August 31, 2019
Christian Eriksen might play or he might be sold, not that it matters much anyway. In 14 games against Arsenal, the player Spurs fans hail as better than Mesut Ozil has assisted just one goal and scored as many as Bernd Leno has for Arsenal. That’s ‘none’ in case you didn’t follow. Ozil, at least, has one goal and picks up an assist almost every other game (3). Plus, he’s played five games fewer than his supposed super Spurs counterpart.
Much is said about Arsenal’s defence but it is Spurs’ who have the real problems heading into this match. Jan Vertonghen could return for his first rusty start of the season alongside Serge Aurier, clusterf**k extraordinaire. They’ve shipped as many as Arsenal have and that was before the Frenchman was drafted in. If Pochettino decides he can’t trust the AC Milan-linked defender, we could well see Moussa Sissoko back there. Against Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Unlike Arsenal’s record signing, Nicolas Pepe, who has completed more take-ons than anyone else in the Premier league this season despite only starting one game, Spurs record signing is injured and won’t take any part.
As if that wasn’t enough, Spurs also have to contend with VAR, eliminating at least 33% of their xG, a stat previously padded by their dark arts.
15 points from their last 15 games is the record Spurs bring to the Emirates where Arsenal have lost around two games per season for the last five years, usually to clubs from Manchester and/or Liverpool.
In short, it’s safe to say I’m feeling this one.