Why Arsenal are still kings of North London

by Arandeep Dhillon

Monday, March 12th, 2012

After the humbling 4-0 lesson at the hands of Milan and the FA cup defeat to Sunderland, many were calling for the head of Arsene Wenger. The next game saw North London neighbours Spurs visit the Emirates. Spurs were heavy favourites going into the match, for Arsenal it was do or die, another defeat and the future of Wenger would be cast into further doubt.

Four minutes into the match and former gunner Emmanuel Adebayor found Louis Saha, whose deflected strike found the back of the net. Tottenham’s luck continued, Gareth Bale was awarded a penalty after Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczęsny had been adjudged to have brought him down by referee Mike Dean, though it was clear no contact had been made. The referee’s uncertainty was shown by the fact that he didn’t produce a card to the Arsenal stopper.

Arsenal needed a miracle. Shock covered most of the faces around the ground. Was this the start of a shift of power in North London? In the 40th minute, a Mikel Arteta chip allowed Bacary Sagna to nod in to give Arsenal hope. Three minutes later, red-hot Robin van Persie superbly curled an effort into the back of the net to draw Arsenal level.

The gloom around the ground for the home fans quickly turned to joy, the second half was there for Arsenal to take. Tomas Rosicky put Arsenal ahead six minutes after the interval. Theo Walcott, who was earlier booed, scored twice to round off a convincing 5-2 victory for Arsenal. The result shows the solidarity Wenger has instilled in his troops and is an indication that Arsenal are still North London’s finest.

Over two weeks on, though Spurs are still leading their rivals in the league, though their grip is loosening. A week ago Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said ‘I still fancy us to finish third’. Though Redknapp’s men have played great football for most of the season, so have the gunners but at the crucial part of the season it seems Spurs are doing what they have so often previously done-losing their bottle.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five premier league games, including four wins, whilst Spurs have lost their last three. Spurs may be improving but it would be no surprise if the final league readings followed those of previous seasons.

In 09-10 fourth placed Tottenham finished 5 points behind Arsenal (third) and last season Arsenal finished in fourth spot, six ahead of Spurs. If Arsenal again finish above Spurs, it will be seen as another wasted chance for Tottenham who threw away a chance to finish above Arsenal in fourth spot in the 05-06 season when Tottenham, then led by Martin Jol, lost their final game to West Ham which allowed Arsenal to claim fourth.

In addition Robin van Persie’s rich vein of goalscoring form could be a factor. The Dutchman has netted 25 times in the Premier League and the Arsenal captain is likely to continue to spearhead the gunners up the table.

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  • neutral

    Whats the difference between a library and the Emirates . you can hear a pin drop at the Emirates.

  • neutral

    Mystic Meg watch out you are heading for a fall.

  • balespud

    listen neutral we know who you frequenting that gay bar in soho

  • arry4sure

    love those spurs pundits half a good season and they think they are world beaters 10 points clear then end up mid table thats your team par for the course, for sure

  • neutral

    My earlier comment on Wenger should have said alledgedly , apologies for any misunderstanding , its certainly not a viewpoint I concur with.

  • hartly &hartly solicitors

    Not good enough Neutral we will check your e- mail account ,you will be hearing from us on behalf of MR wengar

  • hartly &hartly solicitors

    Not good enough Mr neutral we are checking your e-mail account and you will be hearing from us on behalf of Mr wengar

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