Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Tottenham Hotspur (a) preview
I'll keep this fairly brief as it's so late in the day. Manchester United have left the door ever so slightly ajar once again after their failure to win at Newcastle last night. In many ways it makes Sunday's disastrous ending all the more frustrating - the win would have meant that we were now masters of our own destiny once again. Apparently Ferguson thinks United should have had a penalty. My Dad says even Sky admitted Newcastle should have had one. Having not seen the game I can't really comment, but if Sky are saying Newcastle were robbed against Man Utd then it must be true.
Over the last couple of days Arsene Wenger, Robin Van Persie and Wojciech Szczesny have been saying all the right things about the Title challenge. I suppose we must given credit to them for that. However, various players have said the right things all season, only for things to go wrong again. After we lost at home to the mugs we play tonight the players were quick to apologise and give it the "it won't happen again" spiel having let a 2-0 lead slip. What happened two months later? We lost a FOUR goal lead at Newcastle. They told us their attitude was wrong against West Brom at home, and it wouldn't happen again. We promptly lost to Newcastle in similarly abject fashion. The point I'm trying to make is that words mean nothing. Words are what people like myself use because we don't have the ability to use actions. The players and the Manager are the only people in a position to make their actions count, so let's hear no more talking about it, and see a bit more doing it.
The team news is excellent. Only Fabianski and Vermaelen remain unavailable in the squad. That means, thank goodness, that Bacary Sagna has recovered from injury and will replace Eboue at full-back. The thought of Eboue being constantly the wrong side of Gareth Bale was one I didn't enjoy, so I'm pleased that Sagna will be there. Elsewhere I'd love to see us change formation and do something to surprise the mugs in their own back yard. It would be the biggest surprise since Aliadiere started the FA Cup semi-final in 2004 if it were to happen, but I live in hope.
As for Spurs, I fear Heurelho Gomes. He had his nightmare moment last week against Real Madrid and is the sort of goalkeeper, much like Manuel Almunia, who is also capable of occasional brilliance - look no further than the North London Derby this time last season for evidence of what he can do. Given the way that opposition goalkeepers seem to save their best for Arsenal it is something that worries me greatly. They might also have that freak playing up front for them and he has a ridiculously good record against Arsenal.
Going in to tonight we are owed a good performance from many of our big players - Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie and, in particular Fabregas. The Captain has been vocal in the last couple of days in his views on the situation with the squad and winning trophies. He might well be correct, and his views (as reported at least) echo those of many, including myself. However, he is the Captain of Arsenal and should be keeping his mouth shut. As I said earlier, only the players and Manager are in a position to influence things via their actions. Tonight it is now or never. It's time to deliver, and Fabregas must lead in more ways than one.