The Aftermath


Now, you may have become accustomed to me writing in a fairly mild-tempered, coherent and organised manner, and well, this is a reputation I would like to uphold. Nevertheless, midway through a week which has left me gasping for air and questioning all that is right in the world of football, these previous inhibitions are to be thrown both metaphorically, and physically out of the window. This will be the proverbial steam I need to let out, and one which I have not been physically ready to let out until now. The media lockdown is officially over.

Today it is Wednesday, and therefore it has been 4 whole days since I witnessed possibly my most painful moment as an Arsenal fan- and believe me, I have experienced my fair share. The nature of the beast is such that before, during and after a North-London derby, my phone is inundated with texts from, well, anyone really. The majority are obviously Spurs fans on a day like Saturday, yet United fans also feel compelled to throw in their two pence worth, as well as those Gooners looking for a shoulder to cry on. Clearly, the texts from Spurs fans are the ones which prove to be the most irksome. These range from the classic ‘this is the greatest day of my life’, the moronic ‘yid army!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ or even the puzzlingly triumphant, like this one I received, ‘HAHA you Gooners make crack me up’ (I’m glad you find 13 League Titles to your 2 amusing). The mere thought of replying to this rare breed of idiots by wasting my time to list anyone of our numerous victories down the years, or to remind them of the 1.7 decades it took to beat us at home is tiresome at best and infuriating at the worst. It’s a highly tedious task having an argument with a Spurs fan, honestly try it one time, its hell, and this animated replica is remarkably accurate. In the wake of this victory, Harry Redknapp’s humorous piece of satire in suggesting his team are capable of winning the league perfectly sums up the confusion engulfing a mildly successful Tottenham Hotspur fan base.

Indeed, we are in the middle of a long and painful trophy drought, ominously picking up pace towards its 6th baron year. Yes this is abysmal, and it is certainly something to worry about for a club of Arsenal’s size. Naturally winning the Carling Cup this year, which looks to be our best chance of a trophy, would not put a satisfactory end to this drought, as it is not enough for a club of our magnitude, and this is something Spurs fans continue to, rightly, insist. However, let’s look at this logically. The only thing Spurs have in fact one in the last 19 years (No, you don’t need to go to Specsavers, that does say 19) is, ironically 2 League cups. In that period, we have won 5 FA Cups, 5 Community Shields, 3 League Titles, 1 European Cup Winners Cup and 1 League Cup. I have purposefully refrained from mentioning all the add ons (The unbeaten season and 49 game record, the numerous domestic doubles and the Champions League Final) as these are (not) irrelevant. It says everything about the difference between our two clubs that, without a League Title in 6 years we are in crisis, whereas merely 2 League Cups in 19 years is nothing to worry about just a mile or two down seven sisters road…

The natural response to that list of facts, would arguably be “ Well times are changing….YIDOYIDOYIDO blah blah blah”. Well, let’s examine this point of yours. The last time you actually finished above us at the end of a league season was in 1995, and if that is classed as recent, then Gazza is still mildly coherent. If we are going to speak in these terms, perhaps 3 years may be classed as recent. Lo and behold, during this RECENT period the results table is as follows: Arsenal: 5 Wins, Spurs: 3 Wins, Draws: 5, Commerative DVD’s: 4,271. With this fairly damning realisation, the average Spurs fan would utter, with an air of unbridled sophistication; “Well Arsene Wenger is a paedophile”. In the famous words of Martin Tyler Circa May 3rd 1998- ‘That sums it all up!’

The truth of the matter is this. Yes Saturday was a very sad day indeed, and yes it was a good result for Tottenham at the end of a game in which we were both frankly awful. Yes they have the greatest player of all time, and Yes they are looking more threatening to the Premier League Elite. But for as long as they jump around with glee and revel in beating their deepest, bitterest rivals, they will never be a bigger, more successful or more admirable club than The Arsenal.  During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, beating Spurs was such a monotonous routine that this inevitable outcome almost became boring. Coincidentally, during this period they kept themselves to themselves and didn’t bother us much, and now they aren’t that bad anymore, they have awoken from their slumber and have the cheek to question our dominance in North London. Whereas the pain of Saturday’s defeat was in a performance which summed up just why we will not win anything worthwhile this season, the nature of the opponents was more an added annoyance, like a bluebottle who buzzes around your ear as you get clubbed over the head by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The difference is this. During the next few weeks my eyes are fixed on an away trip to Old Trafford which could either propel or deflate our title challenge. As for that lot down the road, their eyes are on the £19.99 DVD of Saturday’s match. Forever in our shadow.

(For a more analytical summary of this weeks matches, watch this space)


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