The moment that every Spurs fan looks forward to and dreads in equal measure, is here again. A chance to get one over on those loudmouthed Gooners that lurk on every corner, but conversely, also a gilt-edged opportunity for them to make your life a misery for a few weeks.
It’s North London derby time again. By the way, when did it become the norm to refer to this game by the abbreviation NLD? I’m all for extending the names to make them sound as grand as possible, rather than abbreviating things all the time. So it’s the Horrible Dirty Gooner Scum v Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in my mind and always will be.
The North London derby is a bitter, snarling affair, both on and off the pitch. We hate each other purely because our football teams are so near to each other. Religion or whose firm are the hardest, doesn’t factor.
Basically they pitched up in our back yard many moons ago and now refuse to go away. They gained promotion at our expense by slipping the Football League a few quid and remain the only top flight team to be there having not having got there legitimately. They’re a nuisance and need to be taught a lesson.
I’ve got my doubts to whether we’re ready to dish out such a lesson. Modric, Defoe and Lennon are all out, with the possible addition of King and Woodgate. That’s potentially half of our first choice team and their replacements need to step up.
So if David Bentley wants to continue the form he showed against Everton with a goal vaguely similar to the one he scored against his old team last season, then it would be very much appreciated.
If Robbie Keane wants to shut up the doubters and win his place back in every Tottenham’s supporters hearts, then there’s an easy way to do it. Score a winning goal against Wenger’s mob and prove that our squad really is the equal of theirs.
We need big performances and we also need to bully them. That ability, isn’t something that’s really been in our arsenal (sorry for using that word) in the past, but in Palacios and Huddlestone we have two players who can physically impose themselves against their powderpuff counterparts in their midfield.
Crouch has a good scoring record against them and their defence looks more shaky than ever at the moment. If Bentley can produce some sweet deliveries, then Crouchie can cause mayhem. However, let’s not be just whacking long balls to him from the off just because he’s there, as we did against Stoke last week.
The one thing that I don’t expect is for either team to keep a clean sheet. Over 2.5 goals would be the bet, despite the 0-0 when we last met at the Lane last season.
We shouldn’t be scared. On the occasions that they have played a good, in-form side this season, they have lost. They’re flat-track bullies who relish beating the little teams by 5 or 6 goals, but as Lance-Corporal Jack Jones would say, they don’t like it up ’em.
Boys – don’t let us down. Prove that Stoke was just one of those days when nothing goes right and leave their ground with a decent result. Just don’t leave it as late as last year. I don’t think my heart can handle it.
No abbreviations. Come on you Spurs!