The fires of a North London derby really don’t need much stoking, which is why I was particularly annoyed by Robbie Keane’s claim yesterday that the Spurs squad is as strong as Arsenal’s and that our bench is actually better.
It’s not Robbie Keane who is going to have to work alongside Arsenal fans on Monday morning (well, apart from Jermain Defoe) and take a day’s worth of ribbing, if the ‘superior’ Spurs squad gets beaten by Arsenal on Saturday.
I actually think our first choice team is a match for anyone, but we go into the North London derby without a good proportion of those players. It’s possible that Woodgate, KIng, Modric, Defoe and Lennon will all miss out. If you were to describe those lot as our five best players, you wouldn’t put anyone’s nose out of joint other than Wilson Palacios.
Our bench against Stoke was full of quality players, but are any of them likely to be able to come on and change a game? Jenas might if he’s in the mood, but other than that we’re struggling. No one will be filled with particular optimism at the sight of Roman Pavlyuchenko warming up at the Emirates.
We can’t really say that we have a better squad than Arsenal until we finish higher than them in the league. Until that happens our players and management should keep quiet on the subject and leave the stupid proclamations to us fans. At least when we taunt the Arsenal we do so with some wit and sometimes have the excuse of being slightly drunk.