I’ve recently become something of convert to Twitter (here I am) and one of my triumphant post match tweets was replied to by some Arsenal fan who I’ve never met in my life.
“Lemme guess (that means ‘let me’ in English)” he wrote, “you think that the balance of power has shifted (should have been a question mark there, but a desire to use punctuation is sadly lacking from most Tweeters).”
I replied as follows. “No I don’t think the balance of power has shifted. I simply think that you were 2-0 and f*cked it up.”
Apart from the knowledge that remaining humble in victory and confounding the expectations of simple-minded Gooners tends to wind them up even more, my reply sums up how I feel about the match. At half-time they could have had the game sewn up and it looked like things would get embarrassing. To our surprise, although things did indeed get embarrassing, it wasn’t us with the red faces.
Yes, we did look a much better team in the second half, with Defoe coming on, Van der Vaart giving us more numbers in midfield and Jenas remaining more disciplined, but we didn’t really play so well that we would have won without any help.
Our first goal was a great move, with Defoe doing his best impression of Peter Crouch and VDV putting through a lovely flick to allow Bale to finish calmly. From that moment on, Arsenal went into panic mode. The penalty they gave us was absolutely ridiculous and summed up the lack of fight they possess. Not only were they unwilling to take one in the face to prevent a goal, but Fabregas wasn’t even prepared to handball it himself and instead raised his team-mate’s arm up in the air to stop the ball.
The third goal came from a great free kick from Van der Vaart and a fine header from Kaboul, but in opposite circumstances, I would expect our defence and goalkeeper to have dealt with the situation.
So no, I don’t think that this win represents any shift of power, but I do maintain that it was very funny to watch. We’ll have to beat them regularly and finish above them in the league before we can really claim to be better than them, but until that day comes (if it ever does), we can laugh it up as plucky underdogs.
Instead of doing their best to remain aloof and look down their noses at us, even after letting slip a 2-0 lead at home, Arsenal fans would be better served by losing their rag at their team and their manager. Perhaps then, some of their team would grow a spine and Wenger would put his ego to one side and make the changes necessary for them to win trophies again.
Had we lost that game, I would be calling for the head of Heurelho Gomes and even despite the euphoria of victory, a simmering resentment remains. That first goal came about purely because Gomes was unwilling to put himself in where it hurts as Nasri broke through. Yes, he makes some spectacular saves, but that means nothing to me if he isn’t prepared to do the bread and butter stuff that even a keeper down your local park could muster.
I suppose that Arsenal fans have gone for so long with nothing to moan about, that it doesn’t come as naturally to them as it does to Tottenham supporters. They don’t do losing gracefully quite so naturally either.
Harry has said that we’re back in the title race. I don’t think we’re quite ready for that yet and frankly I don’t care. Days like Saturday are enough for me as a football fan. The impossible becoming possible and then actually bloody happening. That is why we watch football. That is why we watch Tottenham Hotspur. If they made a film about our club, it would have to be written and directed by those maniacs who made Crank.