August 31, 2013

The Calm Before The Storm

This years' North London derby is a interesting one.

On one hand you've got a team that have brought in 7 or so seemingly top quality players and spent damn close to £100million. On the other you've got a team that's signed an injury prone, French youngster and a fella that, if it wasn't for our desperate need for squad depth, would have been collecting the teams' boots after training every afternoon. Both for free.

Sp*rs have been very busy this summer.

Perhaps they saw how close they were to a top four finish last year, got a whiff of Champions League football and decided to go for it. Perhaps they heard all Ivan Gazidis' talk about how much money we have and how willing we are to spend it and simply wanted to keep up with us. Whatever their plan they've executed it very well.

The same cannot be said for our beloved Arsenal.

This summer has seen my fondness for Mr Gazidis begin to dissipate rapidly. Most are of the opinion that his words at the beginning of the summer were to push Wenger and encourage, even force him to spend. I have a slightly different outlook on the situation. His comments in early June were;

"This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower,"

Now, as a fan this sounds quite sexy. He continues;

"I'm talking about an extra £70million... which we will be able to use."

Cool, except haven't you basically just said to every single club on the planet, 'Our pockets are lined, and we can't wait to spend it!' and absolutely destroyed any chance of us being able to negotiate successfully? Does he not realise what he's done? How are we now supposed to play it cool when talking to Real Madrid about Higuain and try to haggle with them? (And remember, that's what Arsenal and Wenger have been superb at in the past.) 

I love how we act offended and surprised when Real Madrid come back, when everything has been agreed with the player and say let's have ourselves another £5million for shits and giggles. What did we possibly think was going to happen? 'Well, Arsenal have a shit ton of money, but we'll give them the best possible deal we can work out, just because they're polite gentlemen and always clean up after themselves when we have them over for tea.'

I'd like to think we'd do the exact same thing. In fact, didn't we do the exact same thing a couple of times a few years ago? You can't tell me Nasri and Adebayor were worth £50million together, certainly not at that time. We knew Manchester Citeh had more money that they knew what to do with, so we took advantage of it. I don't recall hearing them bitch and complain about it. So again, why are we surprised when a team does the same to us when we go after one of their top players?

Ivan Gazidis has made our transfer negotiating extremely difficult this summer, and although I'm sure there was an attempt to try and sell some season tickets on his agenda, can someone please ask him to shut his gob next time please.

The complete lack of signing aside, I think we have a fantastic core of players. Aston Villa aside, we've seen how well they play together and individually this season. This is why we're going to be a force to be reckoned with against Sp*rs Sunday afternoon.

The less successful North London club have a lot to be excited about with all their good looking, underwear model players, but have they yet achieved the level of camaraderie that we're seeing take place at The Emirates? I'm not convinced. 

We also have to remember that these North London derby's are measured by the players' passion and recognition of what these games mean to the fans. With so many new faces, I'm not sure Tottenham are going to be able to match our lads' passion at 4 O'clock.

I've got my money on an Arsenal win, not a draw and certainly not a loss. 

Come on you Gunners!!!!!