Here we are folks. Weekend is here and we’re on countdown to the North London Derby against that ‘orrible lot down the road.
The good news is that our first team should be well rested and up for this game, having not travelled to Kiev on Thursday. Hopefully they’re up for it because I think we need a very intense performance on Sunday to overcome a very good Totts team.
But in terms of my own feelings about the game I have to say I hate this fixture. I genuinely can’t stand the constant nerves, worry and apprehension that flows through me right up until in my mind I know the game is won. In the years where we’ve been three goals clear of them but there’s still ten to go I still remain nervous until the match is probably only a minute or two left on the clock.
It’s not a pleasurable fixture until you’re on your way home.
So that’s how I’m feeling today and the only real anaesthetic for it is the occasional glance at the historical performances that have seen us swat them aside. Except that only numbs the nerves for about ten minutes. Once the footage has been watched I’m back to being nervous again ahead of the game.
Beer helps. But only a little bit. That’s why I’ll be giving myself plenty of time to sink a few to make the warming sensation of a little bit of alcohol envelope me. It won’t completely numb the angst but it’ll dull it a little. It’s my placebo I guess.
The fact that they’ve vastly improved over the last four or five years doesn’t help either. That’s where Chelski are lucky because their local derby involves a team who are rarely close to them in terms of the team and those derbies aren’t really anywhere near as competitive. I’d love me some of that where those Totts are a perennially struggling team towards the bottom of the division.
But we have what we have and we just have to try to make the most of it by beating them and making that dull ache in the pit of my stomach disappear.
The players sounds like they’re up for it. Auba did a video interview on the official site and he seems quite chilled about it, but I wonder how much internally the players also have the nerves ahead of the game? Mertesacker admitted to feeling sick before matches but what about the others and what about a North London Derby? It’s probably intensified by 50% so there must be butterflies all over the camp.
We’ll probably get some team news today ahead of the game tomorrow and the big one for me is whether Lacazette is fit. We need both him and Auba on top form I reckon and if he is available then that’s great for us. Both of those players have been bagging goals this season and I can’t see us not conceding so it means to win the game we probably need a minimum of two goals, most likely three, but I’ll take four all day long!
So fully fit, fully rested, Arsenal first teamers is what we want to hear about today and let’s hope we get that update a little later.
Right, that’s it from me, I’m off for a haircut and then a run in the hope I can exercise off some of these pre-match nerves.
You have a good Saturday.